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"The circuits that cannot be cut are cut automatically in response to a terrorist incident. You ask for miracles. Theo, I give you the FBI."
Hans Gruber, Die Hard

Film writers often have fun with their characters to help the audience enjoy the work more. Taking a ruthless personality and combining it with charm, brilliance and drive, here are the most magnificent come to brew.

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Films — Animated

    Films - Animated 
  • Aladdin (1992): Starting off as a petty, high-functioning Smug Snake, Jafar manages to evolve into a flawless schemer by the events of the sequel. An Evil Sorcerer who acts as grand vizier to the Sultan of Agrabah, Jafar schemes to take over the throne from the Sultan by retrieving the lamp with the Genie in it that can grant wishes. Seemingly, Jafar tried to convince the Sultan to let him marry Princess Jasmine so he can inherit it by marriage. Despite Aladdin, posing as Prince Ali, ruining this plan as well, Jafar deduces his real identity and steals the lamp from him, using it to make himself the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Although being tricked by Aladdin to become a Djinn and be trapped in the lamp, Jafar, returns after getting freed by the thief Abis Mal, going back to plotting to take over Agrabah and get revenge on Aladdin. He captures all of Aladdin's allies, frames him for the Sultan's murder, and pulls it off without Aladdin even realizing he's back. Along the way, Jafar tempers his arrogance and anger with enough cunning and charisma to back up his ego, and manages to be entertaining in his remorseless villainy thanks to a good heaping of Evil Is Hammy and style.
  • Beowulf (2007): Grendel's mother is an ancient being who bore Grendel to King Hrothgar to tie him to her land forever. Upon her son's death at Beowulf's hands, Grendel's mother seduces Beowulf, inspiring him to tell a false story about killing her to gain kingship while she bears his child; a golden-skinned man who becomes a mighty dragon. Using her son to ravage the kingdom and kill Beowulf, Grendel's mother ends the film about to seduce Beowulf's probable successor Wiglaf and continue the cycle.
  • The Book of Life: Land of the Forgotten ruler Xibalba grows bored of his reign and makes a wager for their kingdoms with the Land of the Remembered ruler La Muerte, concerning a Love Triangle between Manolo, Joaquin and Maria, Xibalba betting on Joaquin winning Maria's heart and Le Muerte on Manolo. Disguising himself as a beggar, Xibalba gives Joaquin a medal to make him immortal; later causes Maria to fall into a coma during Manolo's attempt at a heartfelt confession; and leads Manolo to his death. Though outed for his cheating, Xibalba then creates a new bet with Manolo having fight against all the bulls his bull fighting family fought in the past and gracefully accepts his defeat after he does so, honoring his deal and reconciling with La Muerte.
  • Despicable Me 2: Eduardo "El Macho" Perez is a legendary supervillain famous for being ruthless, dangerous and, as the name implies, very macho. Faking his death to get to evade his enemies, he returns twenty years laters where he plans to create an army to help him conquer the world: creating his army by stealing a secret laboratory from the Arctic Circle; recruiting Dr. Nefario and having him create the mind-controlling mutagen PX-41; and kidnapping the Minions to experiment on, using the PX-41 to bring them under his control. El Macho also offers the retired super villain Felonious Gru an opportunity to rule by his side, but when Gru refuses to, El Macho kidnaps Gru's Love Interest, Lucy Wilde, and holds her hostage to keep Gru from interfering before drinking the PX-11 to gain monstrous strength in his attempt to kill Gru.
  • The Grinch (2018): The Grinch once again has his cleverness on full display despite being less malevolent than his book and live action counterparts. Aiming to steal Christmas with style, the Grinch analyzes the houses of the Whoville denizens to factor in the time needed to steal the Christmas decorations in one fell swoop, and after willingly allowing a reindeer to return to its family, solves it by offering his dog Max the role. Realizing the error of his ways, the Grinch returns everything he had stolen to the Whos and earnestly apologizes for his actions before being invited to a Christmas dinner.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: Grimmel the Grisly is the world's smartest dragon hunter with the reputation of hunting Night Furies, a dragon species no Viking was willing to face, to near-extinction. Hired by the warlords to capture Toothless, Hiccup's Night Fury and Berk's alpha dragon, Grimmel employs a Divide and Conquer strategy to separate the Hooligan Tribe from their home and dragons. He secretly releases a female Light Fury into Berk, knowing that her presence will ultimately lure Toothless away from Hiccup in the long run, and he continuously thwarts Hiccup's attempts to capture him with traps of his own. At the story's climax, Grimmel is able to capture Toothless and the other dragons by holding the Light Fury hostage, knowing that the alpha dragon would never let harm come to her. When Hiccup and his friends are able to free Toothless and the other dragons from Grimmel's grasp, Grimmel uses the Light Fury as a shield and mount to increase his chances of escape. Ruthless, pragmatic and always thinking ahead of his enemies, nothing is ever accidental when it comes to old Grimmel.
  • Incredibles 2: Screenslaver, aka Evelyn Deavor, is the secondary CEO of DevTech and Winston Deavor's sister. Believing that humanity has become too reliant on superheroes following her parents' deaths, Evelyn pretended to support Winston's plan to make Supers legal again, while secretly scheming to make sure that they instead remain illegal forever. Kidnapping a pizza delivery boy, she brainwashed him to turn him into her alter-ego Screenslaver, before having him commit several crimes, while Evelyn "helps" Helen "Elastigirl" Parr foil "his" plans and capture and framing him. When Elastigirl deduces that the pizza delivery boy was brainwashed, Evelyn brainwashes her as well before brainwashing Bob "Mr. Incredible" Parr, Frozone and the Supers Winston found. Her objective is to take advantage of Winston's summit on the Everjust boat with over 100 world leaders by crashing the boat into the city and framing the Supers for it, making them illegal forever. Upon seeing her plan unravel, Evelyn decides to fly away to safety with her brother while destroying the way to the engine room to make sure the boat crashes. When Elastigirl manages to reach her, Evelyn nearly kills her through quick thinking and efficient use of her environment.
  • The Lego Movie 2 The Second Part: Rex Dangervest is the evil, time-traveling Emmet Brickowski from the future who seeks to break the LEGO world. Desiring revenge upon his former friends for not saving him from under the dryer, Rex constructs a Time Machine spaceship to travel back in time, pick up a crew of raptors, and rescue his past self from the accident that got him stuck there in the first place. Presenting himself as the cool brotherly mentor and exploiting the poor communication on everyone's part, Rex successfully manipulates Emmet to ignore his kind heart and use his anger to break the wedding of Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi and Batman, thus bringing forth Ourmamageddon upon the LEGO world. When Emmet realizes the truth and rejects Rex's teachings, Rex throws him under the dryer and tries to break his child-like spirit to ensure that he'll become just like Rex himself. After being thwarted by Lucy, who saves Emmet and destroys Rex's time machine, Rex calmly admits defeat and wishes Emmet to be a better man than him as he fades from existence.
  • Rango: Rattlesnake Jake, the terrifying mercenary who slithers in the desert outside of Dirt, ends up employed by the corrupt mayor of the town as muscle, proving himself too vicious and threatening for even the mayor to fully rein in. Jake tears Rango down in front of the entire town by exposing his lies and drives him out before terrorizing the remaining townsfolk into obeying the mayor's scheme. Even despite his murderous temperament, Jake demonstrates a surprising amount of perception by seeing through Rango's ruse with a "hawk" comprised of hundreds of bats in a few seconds, and Rango finally proving himself a hero ends with Jake shamelessly acknowledging him as someone worthy of his respect — while personally dragging out the mayor to his doom for daring to double-cross him with one last Ironic Echo: "pretty soon, no one will believe you even existed."
  • Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas: Eris, Goddess of Discord, steals the Book of Peace from the kingdom of Syracuse and frames Sinbad for the theft, causing his friend Prince Proteus to take his place on deaths row to allow Sinbad to retrieve the book. Eris sends numerous obstacles Sinbad's way that he and his crew only narrowly survive, before eventually revealing that she had stolen the book as part of a ploy to maneuver Proteus into Sinbad's place at execution, leaving Syracuse without an heir and causing the kingdom to fall to ruin. She tears Sinbad down and breaks him to the point that he truly believes her perception of him as a black-hearted liar is correct, and when Sinbad proves his heroism by going back to Syracuse to take Proteus' place, Eris stays true to her word and returns the book to him.
  • Spies in Disguise: Killian is a cybernetic criminal mastermind who seeks to avenge the deaths of his associates caused by Lance Sterling and the H.T.U.V. Acquiring an attack drone from arms dealer Katsu Kimura, Killian uses a holographic disguise to frame Sterling for the drone's theft, causing the agency to focus their efforts of apprehending him and allowing Killian to take control of their weapons facility and steal their agent database. Capturing Sterling, Killian reveals he has mass produced hundreds of attack drones to take out everyone in the agency at once, his plan nearly felling the H.T.U.V. in one fell swoop and only narrowly foiled by Walter Beckett's intervention.

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Films — Live-Action

     # - E 
  • 3:10 to Yuma (2007): Ben Wade in the remake is a charismatic bandit leader who starts the film by driving cattle to block an armored car and then rob it. Famed for his brilliance and skillful gambits, Ben is eventually caught thanks to rancher Dan Evans and is sent to be taken to a train to be sent to Yuma prison with his former gang pursuing. Ben shows himself to be a slippery prisoner, constantly outwitting his captors and killing the most morally bankrupt of them. When he learns Dan's reasons for trying to get him to the train at the end, Ben even fights to assist in getting himself to the train and after Dan is mortally wounded, steps on board of his own free will, cementing Dan as a legend. Ben also reveals to Dan that he's been to Yuma prison twice-and escaped twice (which he and Dan both laugh over), and the film ends with him clearly planning his escape once again.
  • 16 Blocks: Det. Frank Nugent is an NYPD cop seeking to keep thief Eddie Bunker from testifying against him and other corrupt cops involved in witness tampering. Nugent himself threatens a witness in order to give him a heart attack. He arranges for two drug addicts to kill Eddie and when this fails because of his former partner Det. Jack Mosley, Nugent arranges a plan for Eddie to be killed attempting to escape. Jack protects Eddie and Nugent tirelessly pursues them throughout the city, making use of a stolen police radio to track them and later the stoic Nugent is barely phased when Eddie holds a gun on him. When the crooked Jack decides he will testify instead of Eddie, Nugent resolves to have him killed to prevent it.
  • 6 Underground: "One" is the codename of a philanthropist who witnessed the massacre of a civilian hospital by Turgistan's President Rochav Alimov. He fakes his death and recruits five specialists to form a vigilante squad known as "The Ghosts" to take down oppressive regimes, with the caveat that they'll be left to die if their mission is in jeopardy. Masterminding a scheme to overthrow President Alimov and replace him with his more sympathetic brother Murat, One recruits a sniper to replace one of their lost crewmembers before luring Alimov's generals to Las Vegas, using hookers to distract them before the team kills them. After freeing Murat from armed guard in Hong Kong and deciding to make the team more cohesive after an argument, One hacks Turgistan's network so Murat can inspire a revolt, then flushes Alimov out with a series of bombs. When the team pursues Alimov to a yacht, One uses a device to turn the entire ship into a giant magnet, killing many of Alimov's men before capturing Alimov and dumping him into the same refugee camp that was massacred, allowing the refugees to beat Alimov to death for his crimes.
  • 12 Rounds: Miles Jackson is a suave, perpetually cheerful terrorist who masterminds the entire plot. Miles has evaded capture and conviction for his atrocities for years, always staying one step ahead of his law enforcement pursuers, and is introduced tricking a mole in his organization into betraying the F.B.I. and robbing them, after which Miles murders the same mole for ever thinking of turning on him. Though imprisoned for several years thanks to a freak accident, Miles breaks out of prison and sets up the game "12 Rounds" to be played with his arch enemy Danny Fisher. Using the excuse that he is getting revenge for his deceased girlfriend, Miles sets up various puzzles and traps throughout the city for Danny to figure out and stop, using the man's wife as a hostage the hold time. Miles' true magnificence comes with the reveal that the entire point of 12 Rounds was solely to serve as a long, complicated set-up to a bank robbery for millions of dollars, and that every round Danny played further assisted Miles in his scheme. Always ready with a quip and possessing a swaggering charisma that draws all eyes on him, Miles is an intelligent, charming villain, one capable of ridiculous amounts of manipulation and strategy, and whose very first scene illustrates his character perfectly by having him win a losing chess game for a stranger on a whim.
  • 21 Bridges (2019): Captain Matt McKenna is the head of the 85th precinct who has several corrupt cops on his payroll. Teaming up with various drug dealers, McKenna and his officers distribute drugs throughout New York City without any other precincts in the city knowing of their illegal activities. When several officers are killed during a botched robbery, McKenna has his officers hastily hunt down the criminals whilst also eliminating any potential witnesses or allies who could expose his operation. After one of the robbers uncovers evidence exposing the drug operation, McKenna has him murdered even after he gives himself up. Once confronted by Andre Davis about his schemes, McKenna calmly tries to explain that he did what he did to support the officers and their families before attempting to kill him too when Andre tries to arrest him.
  • 300: Rise of an Empire: Artemisia is the brutal female commander of Persia's mighty navy. Desiring vengeance on the Greeks for her past as a sex slave, Artemisia manipulates the Persian King Xerxes into becoming a God-king and declaring war on Greece while murdering all of his closest allies so that she would be the only he would trust. Winning many battles on sea and killing her own men when they fail her, Artemisia comes to admire Athenian commander Themistocles and offers him a position as her lieutenant before the two have passionate sex. When Themistocles refuses, the next day Artemisia orders her men to pour oil in the sea while she shoots a fire toward Themistocles' armada, decimating his forces and nearly killing him. Learning of Themistocles' survival and battling him once more, Artemisia only loses to him due to the sudden reinforcements from Sparta and Xerxes' cowardly decision to abandon her, while she rejects Themistocles' mercy and charges at him declaring that she's ready to face death.
  • The Abominable Dr. Phibes: Dr. Anton Phibes himself is a cultured, accomplished organist and theologian lashing out after the death of his beloved wife. Blaming the surgical team, Phibes spends years in hiding, letting them believe him dead, until he resurfaces and begins to murder them in a series of killings designed to emulate the Ten Plagues of Egypt. Phibes is repeatedly a step ahead of every attempt to stop or capture him and ends the film almost completely victorious. Resurfacing years later, Phibes once again destroys his rivals as he seeks to restore his Victoria to life, ending up completely untouchable by the end, with his calculating mind seeing him through every challenge.
  • Absolute Power: Luther Whitney is a methodical career burglar whose high-profile thefts have never been traced back to him. During one such burglary, Luther witnesses the President of the United States, Alan Richmond, murder Christy Sullivan, the young wife of billionaire philantropist Walter Sullivan. Luther steals the murder weapon and being disgusted with the President's attempts to have it covered up, resolves to expose him. Luther threatens the President and his conspirators by sending them notes and proof of Richmond's crime while visiting the White House on a guided tour in disguise. Luther also manages to avoid being assassinated by two independent snipers when agreeing to meet his estranged daughter Kate out in the open and simultaneously avoid capture by the police officers investigating Christy's death by donning a police uniform hidden underneath his overcoat. Luther eventually manages to destroy the conspiracy by exposing the truth to Walter Sullivan and protect his daughter after she becomes a target, causing the President himself to commit suicide in shame.
  • Air Force One: Ivan Korshunov is the leader of a group of Russian terrorists who infiltrate Air Force One by means of killing and replacing a film crew and then, by breaking into the weapons vault and killing most of the Secret Service, hijack the plane. He seeks to have Russian prisoner General Ivan Radek released from prison. He also successfully prevents an emergency landing while the plane is on the runway. Impeded by US President James Marshall, Korshunov first threatens a hostage to try to lure him out and then forces Vice President Kathryn Bennett to send for fuel when the plane loses it. Once capturing Marshall, Korshunov gets him to agree to and follow through with the release and later, Korshunov nearly escapes with a parachute. Korshunov proves constantly how he's a No-Nonsense Nemesis with every challenge he's met with and manages to retain honor in the process.
  • Airborne (1998): Bob Murdoch is a high ranking officer for Mach One. A smart, yet callous agent, Murdoch knows there’s a mole working for Pierre Melo hiding amongst the team once they acquire the deadly virus. Unsure if it’s either Bill McNeil or Ron Simpson, Murdoch plants a fake virus for Mach One and Dave Toombs to acquire in a chemical plant, not telling anyone in Mach One about his plan and willing to have them risk their lives to find Melo. Figuring out that Simpson was Melo after tracing his call with Toombs, Murdoch watches as Mach One kills Simpson, exposing his plan to his team knowing that they’ll hate him for not telling them about the fake virus.
  • All About Eve: Addison DeWitt is a brilliant and manipulative critic. Spotting the ascent of the titular Eve Harrington through the acting industry at the expense of others, DeWitt aids her in her rise to fame while pretending to be her ally and underling. Playing along with her, he effortlessly creates a paranoia which undermines Eve's rival Margo Channing and turns the tables, netting Eve a profitable career. However, when Eve decides to marry Lloyd Richards and rise to fame, DeWitt verbally breaks her down, making it clear that he alone is responsible for his career and that she has been outplayed, taking control of her life. As the film ends, DeWitt meets a similar woman to Eve and invites her into her home, beginning the cycle once again and always coming out on top.
  • American Assassin: Stan Hurley runs Orion, a CIA assassination squad in charge of eliminating the world's most notorious terrorists with absolute discretion. Hurley has his cadets endure brutally intense training before sending them out to kill their targets, while always reminding them that no one will rescue them should they get caught. Through Hurley's unscrupulous methods, such as threatening to burn a nuclear physicist alive, he learns that his former pupil, Ghost, is working with the Iranian Government to develop a nuclear bomb and that an Iranian mole, has infiltrated Orion. When Ghost kidnaps Hurley and tortures him for abandoning him, Hurley calls out Ghost on his excuses justifying that Ghost's reckless behavior nearly got his unit kill, while remaining fearlessly defiant throughout the session; Hurley would exploit his torture session to uncover Ghost true plan to use the Iranian bomb to destroy the U.S Navy's Sixth Fleet, and tells his agent, Mitch Rapp, about it, allowing Mitch to kill Ghost and foil his plans.
  • American Gangster: Frank Lucas is the friendly but ruthless former right-hand man of crime lord "Bumpy" Johnson, seeking to restore order to Harlem following Johnson’s death. Frank manages to monopolize the Harlem drug market with his business practices, built on the principles of honesty, integrity, hard work, and family, inspiring loyalty amongst his community and subordinates. Frank becomes so powerful that he can commit muder in the open without repercussion, and operates for half a decade without issue, cultivating the image of a well-meaning family man. Upon his arrest, Frank assists Richie Roberts's investigation, putting corrupt cops and most of the DEA behind bars, while also getting his 70-year sentence reduced to 15. A man that lives by a code, despite his violent actions, Frank instills devotion in his followers and respect in the clean-cut Roberts, operating by his wits and willpower while exploiting a massive Cassandra Truth: that a black man in the 1960s has managed to rise to power.
  • Artemis Fowl: Artemis Fowl Jr., while more heroic than his literary counterpart, remains a ruthlessly pragmatic Child Prodigy. On his quest to save his father from the villainous Opal Koboi, Artemis captures the Fairy cop Holly Short to lure out the forces of LEPRecon into a trap and threatens to expose Fairykind's existence to humanity, tricking them into assisting him to retrieve the magical item Opal demands of him. Double-crossing Opal to free his father, Artemis deals a devastating blow to her organization and ends the film hunting for her.
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (2005): Marion Bishop is an arrested crime lord forced to stay overnight at Precinct 13 due to poor weather conditions stopping the prison transport where the crooked Captain Marcus Duvall plans to kill him before he can testify in court. In a shaky alliance with hero Sergeant Jake Roenick, Bishop proceeds to improvise and adapt against the dozens of intruders. Devising a plan to kill a traitorous officer when caught, Bishop also holds out under torture from Duvall, allowing Jake to kill Duvall, then escapes as dawn breaks.
  • Assault on Wall Street: Jim Baxford is an average joe New Yorker whose life savings are wiped out by crooked investment bankers, his dire financial situation causing him to lose his job as an armored truck driver, his home when he can't afford his mortgage, and even his wife Rosie to suicide when she can't handle the burden her recent battle with brain cancer and her expensive medical needs has inadvertently placed on her husband. After mourning Rosie's death, Jim uses his military experience to start planning revenge on the white collar criminals who wronged him, assassinating high-placed bankers who defrauded their clients but faced no prosecution and planning these kills out meticulously to get away with them and destroying any incriminating evidence afterwards. Jim caps off his rampage with a shooting spree in the NYC financial district, luring his former financial advisor out into the open to kill him with a sniper rifle, followed by dozens of employees working for the bank that deceived him. Jim finally holds their senior portfolio manager hostage, tricking him into snatching a gun under the guise of a "fair play" survival of the fittest, to ensure that SWAT officers will shoot him instead and unknowingly escort Jim safely off the scene.
  • The Assignment (2016): Frank Kitchen is a notorious hitman who has murdered numerous people for money. Forcibly converted into a woman by Dr. Rachel Jane as retribution for killing her brother, Frank seeks vengeance on Jane, killing everyone involved in his surgery before reaching Jane. When Jane captures her, Frank seduces Jane's assistant before killing him and all of Jane's other men, before Frank shoots Jane non-fatally. Frank would then stage the scenario to make it look like Jane's assistant committed the murders and frame Jane for killing her assistant sending Jane to a psychiatric ward, while also cutting all of Jane's fingers off so that Jane will never be able to perform her heinous surgeries on anyone else ever again.
  • Atomic Blonde: Lorraine Broughton is the elegant spy for MI6 sent into Berlin to recover "The List" and expose the mysterious KGB mole Satchel. In the midst of double-dealings and betrayals, Lorraine comes out on top and betrays her superiors at MI6, being the true Satchel who had manipulated the situation the entire time. In truth, Lorraine actually works for the CIA to play MI6 and the KGB against one another, wiping out the Russian agents and escaping back to America with her job complete.
  • Baby Driver: Doc is a criminal mastermind who formed an enterprise on the basis of intricate and precise robberies. He demonstrates impressive planning—from what to wear, who to contact, and how to escape—and takes into account every eventuality. One of Doc's main strategies to avoid being caught is to use a different crew for every bank robbery he stages, though he does mix and match members of those various crews along the way. Having zero tolerance for stupidity, Doc sees the titular Baby as his lucky charm to the point he's willing to gaslight the kid even after he's paid off his debt. In the climax after his criminal enterprise has been uprooted in one reckless night, Doc packs up his base of operations to leave, but seeing the couple Baby and Debora, he decides to help them escape all because he was in love once like them, even giving up his life.
  • Bad Boys for Life: Isabel Aretas and Armando Aretas are a pair of Mexican criminals seeking to avenge the fall of the Aretas cartel. While in prison, Isabel murders one of the guards and escapes after posing as the guard she killed. After escaping, Isabel hands Armando a list of law enforcement and other officials to kill, all of whom helped dismantle the cartel and put Isabel in prison. After wounding Mike Lowrey, Armando spends several months assassinating the officials, swiftly eluding the police after each kill. To further torment Mike psychologically, Armando posts a video of him shooting Mike onto the dark web and later murders Captain Howard while they're both attending a basketball game. Once Mike and his partner Marcus try to sneak into Isabel's palace to confront her and Armando, Isabel anticipates their assault and immediately captures them, before attempting to kill them both.
  • Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon: Leslie Vernon is an aspiring spree killer in the vein of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger who is chosen to be the subject of a documentary that the main character, Taylor Gentry, is making. Taylor ends up charmed by the shockingly charismatic Leslie who details to her and her film crew exactly how he plans to carry out his murder spree. When Taylor opts to interfere on behalf of the victims, she realizes Leslie's real plan: she and her crew were also intended to be his victims, and they're playing right into his hands, becoming part of his attack just as Leslie always intended. It turns out Taylor is actually Leslie's chosen 'final girl' to defeat him and seal his place in slasher legend. It also turns out Leslie predicted exactly how Taylor would defeat him and took precautions to survive this as well.
  • Bernie: Danny Buck Davidson is the District Attorney of Carthage, known for using unscrupulous method to convict those he deems criminals; one such method involves holding a contest where the last person with their hands on a car gets it for free waiting until five people are left where Danny proceeds to arrest them for grand theft auto. When he learns that Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede murdered Marjorie "Marge" Nugent, Danny vows to get a successful conviction on Bernie. When facing opposition with the people of Carthage, Danny arranges Bernie's murder trial at a different town with an ignorant jury while painting Bernie in a bad light; this tactic works and the beloved Bernie is sentenced to life in prison for murdering someone universally despised.
  • Best Seller: Cleve is a hitman who has murdered many people while in the employ of Madlock Industries, removing various "liabilities" to the organization. Cleve and a small crew successfully steal millions of dollars from a police evidence lock-up in 1972, then fifteen years later contacts ex-policeman turned True Crime novelist Dennis Meechum, the man he nearly killed years before, to relate his lifestory. Cleve intends to use Meechum as a weapon against his former boss, shady businessman David Madlock, out of revenge for having dismissed Cleve by exposing Madlock's crimes to the world. Always a charming smooth talker and polite individual to those he meets to mask his true nature, Cleve continually treats Meechum like an old friend. Despite being a contract killer, Cleve admits to some standards such as a distaste for rape and wanton cruelty, and in the end takes out Madlock and his armed staff in order to save Meechum's daughter at the cost of his own life.
  • Blade Runner: Roy Batty is a replicant and former soldier model who is driven to gain more life for himself and his partners from his "father", Elden Tyrell. Stealing to Earth while eluding all pursuers, Roy has his lover Pris seduce the engineer Sebastian to provide access to Tyrell, whereupon Roy learns his wish is impossible. Killing Tyrell and Sebastian, Roy engages the Blade Runner cop Deckard in a battle, but ends up saving and sparing Deckard, using his last moments to impart a few of his memories to Deckard, ensuring he will not be forgotten even as he notes his own memories shall be gone "like tears in the rain", proving himself one of the most complex, charismatic and dynamic antagonists in sci-fi cinema.
  • Blast (2004): The eco-terrorist named "Michael Kittredge" is in actuality a master thief named Talbert Skyler who killed and replaced the real Kittredge to adopt his identity and goals as a cover to hide his own agenda. As Kittredge, Skyler takes over an oil rig and makes a show of attempting to extort money and a confession out of the corrupt CEO Mr. Heller to distract from his real goal, effortlessly playing both sides with cool-headed, masterful deviousness. Skyler continually undermines efforts to thwart him, disorienting and wiping out a team of Navy SEALs sent to the rig and quickly deducing there's a federal agent among his ranks, ruthlessly rooting out every loose end around him. In the end, Skyler's true goal — to wire billions of dollars all across California to his secret account before using an EMP to knock out power all across the state the instant it's done — is stopped only scant seconds before it can be achieved.
  • Body Heat: Mary Ann Simpson, known as "The Vamp" in her teenage years, is a beautiful, beguiling woman who breathed new life into the Femme Fatale trope. She seduces the sleazy and incompetent lawyer Ned Racine, engaging in a torrid affair with him before convincing him to kill her wealthy husband Edmund Walker by subtly exposing the man's shady business affairs to soothe Ned's possible moral qualms. Marry Ann then has her husband's will improperly changed behind Ned's back so it will be declared null and void by a judge and render her the sole beneficiary of her husband's estate. Mary Ann fakes her own death and implicates Ned, while also being revealed to have assumed the identity of her supposed friend Matty Tyler and killed her as well. Mary Ann's scheme took years of planning, ultimately leaving her with a fortune and living scott-free in a tropical island paradise.
  • The Cabin in the Woods: The Director is the head-strong leader of the Organization, charged with keeping the evil gods that slumber below the Earth dormant so they will spare humanity. Under the Director's guidance, the Organization selects Human Sacrifices every year and manipulates them into taking part in an elaborate ritual narrative. The Director is the first to notice that Marty's survival is threatening the ritual's completion, and succeeds into talking Dana into killing Marty before resolving to kill Marty herself when that fails. Far more professional and strategic than her subordinates, the Director has sacrificed numerous lives for the greater good while harboring no ill will towards her victims whatsoever.
  • The Campaign: Tim Wattley is an international criminal from Greece named Leonidas Stavros under the employment of Glenn and Wade Motch. Fully complicit in the Motch brothers' plan to turn Hammond into a factory complex for their Chinese business partners, Tim would become Marty Huggins' campaign manager to mold him into the Motch brothers' puppet. Tim would completely reinvent Marty's character, home, and lifestyle, making it more appealing to voters but also create a rift between Marty and his family. When Marty learns about the nefarious plans for Hammond and goes against them, Tim defects to Marty's rival Cam Brady and uses the same tactics to get Cam ahead of Marty in the votes. When Cam withdrawals from the election and helps Marty get rid of the corruption in Hammond, Tim finds a way to escape justice while the Motch brothers get arrested for their association with him.
  • Candyman: The Candyman himself, born Daniel Robitaille, was tortured and murdered by racist whites. His anguished spirit survives as a murderous urban legend within the whispers and imaginations of Cabrini-Green, forcing him to kill to stay alive. The Candyman kills those who summon him to spread the fear of his myth, but when the heroine Helen begins to debunk the myth, he is compelled to appear to her. Framing Helen for murder and the disappearance of a child, the Candyman systematically lures her to him, intending on consuming much of Cabrini-Green in a fire while enshrining Helen as his beloved victim to enhance his myth even further, handling himself with an unmistakable cunning and pure charisma to go along with his dark conviction.
  • Catch Me If You Can: Frank Abagnale Jr. is a born Con Man whose first relatively harmless scheme involved impersonating his French teacher, fooling the entire school for weeks. His later criminal actions consist of acquiring millions of dollars by writing fraudulent checks, sending out fake letters, and posing as air plane pilots, doctors, and lawyers, all to live a lavish lifestyle spent in expensive hotels, throwing parties, and sleeping with numerous women he seduces, as well as a high-class prostitute whom he tricks into paying him for the night spent with her. When the FBI's Financial Crimes unit starts pursuing him, Frank cleverly manages to avoid capture numerous times, such as performing a Bavarian Fire Drill that convinces FBI Agent Carl Hanratty that Frank is a Secret Service agent, and in his most audacious scheme, smuggling himself through an airport filled with FBI agents by recruiting a group of good-looking stewardesses to distract the men supposed to be watching out for him. Although the law ultimately catches up with him, Frank is a Lovable Rogue who is so good at what he does that he's able to elude the authorities for years and all before he was even 21.
  • Charley Varrick: Crop-duster turned bank robber, Charley Varrick, disguises himself as an injured old man to discreetly complete his theft. Discovering the money he stole belonged to The Mafia, Varrick suggests to his friend, Harman, that they lay low, avoiding spending it for four years, to avoid suspicion. When Harman's avarice leads to him spending, Varrick double-crosses him by swapping their dental records and forging a passport to confuse the hitman sent after them. Acting friendly to the corrupt bank president, Varrick leads the hitman to believe they are associates, resulting in the president being killed. Tricking the hitman into trying to retrieve the money from a car he rigged to explode, Varrick kills him, getting away clean.
  • Charlie Wilson's War: Gust "Gus" Avrokatos is a snarky and incredibly competent CIA agent who joins the covert operation against the USSR in Afghanistan after falling out with his previous bosses. Gus puts Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson in contact with CIA weapons experts and jointly arranges a major weapons deal with Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan to supply the Mujihideen with Soviet military material to bleed the Red Army dry and ultimately cause the collapse of the Soviet Union. Committed to serving American interests above all else, Gus takes massive pride in his record while also being world-wise enough to foresee what negative consequences arming islamic radicals might have in the future, teaching the idealistic Charlie an important lesson as his parting gift.
  • Charlie's Angels (2000): Eric Knox, born John McGann, is a software designer who incorrectly believes Charles "Charlie" Townsend murdered his father in Vietnam. Seeking revenge, Knox stages both his own kidnapping and the theft of his new voice recognition software and sets up his shady rival Roger Corwin for it. Convincing the Angels that Corwin has bad intentions for the software, Knox gets them to break into the company and hack Corwin's servers. Knox is able to gain access to Corwin's face recognition satellite and use that combined with his voice recognition software to determine Charlie's location thanks to Charlie making a phone call. Knox then heads out in a helicopter and nearly blows Charlie up in his cabin.
  • Chicago: Billy Flynn is Velma Kelly's greedy, smooth-talking lawyer. After learning of Roxie Hart's incarceration and seeking to earn more money, Flynn decides to become her lawyer as well. Over the span of several weeks, Flynn teaches Roxie how to earn sympathy from the public whilst also manipulating multiple reporters into thinking she killed her victim in self-defense. During Roxie's trial, Flynn cajoles Roxie's husband, Amos, into forgiving Roxie and accuses a district attorney of tampering with evidence incriminating Roxie—evidence Flynn fabricated himself. Due to Flynn's conniving words, Roxie is declared not guilty, and Flynn walks away having won another case.
  • Clue: Wadsworth, the real Mr. Boddy, is a ruthless blackmailer who is blackmailing every guest in the house. Having lured them to the manor, he used a body double to fake his own death as a decoy before manipulating every guest to murder his former co-conspirators and destroy the extra evidence so he no longer has to worry about their treachery. After having every impediment to his schemes killed, he reveals he knows the guilt of every single guest and plots to continue blackmailing all of them. Despite his villainy, Wadsworth conducts himself with total charm and a dapper congeniality, pleasant even after he's been shot.
  • Collateral: The enigmatic, philosophical "Vincent" is a ruthless yet suave Professional Killer, tasked with eliminating witnesses to the crimes of drug lord Felix Reyes-Torrena. Bribing taxi driver Max Durocher to unwittingly assist him, Vincent has Max transport him while he murders his targets. Genuinely affable, Vincent respectfully listens to the story of a jazz club owner before offing him and visits Max's sick mother in the hospital, even bringing her flowers. Adapting when Max destroys the files on his targets, Vincent has Max retrieve a new copy from Felix, both keeping his anonymity and leading the police to mistakenly believe Max is him. Fatally wounded by Max while hunting his last target, Vincent chooses to calmly accept his fate, giving Max some parting words before passing.
  • Con Air: Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom is a charismatic, ruthless psychopath who organizes the scheme to seize control of a flight full of convicts, then puts together the plan to exchange prisoners at Carson City and escape with his partner, a powerful drug lord, so he can flee to South America with his compatriots. Cyrus constantly displays a sardonic, dry wit and black humor even in stressful situations, before organizing an ambush for national guard troops and killing his drug lord partner when the man attempts to betray the convicts. Soon catching on to a traitor in their midst, Cyrus even survives the crash of the plane and nearly pulls off an escape to get revenge. A compelling villain who retains a few moral standards such as his hatred of rapists, Cyrus constantly plays the government for fools and comes perilously close to a free and clear escape.
  • The Crew (2015):
    • Yanis Zeri is the leader of a successful Parisian heist gang specializing in robbing armored trucks with his friends Nasser, Frank, Eric and his little brother Amine. On his first one-screen heist, Yanis rams his car into a targeted truck, while Frank, Eric and Nasser's cars corner the truck to prevent any escape, with the ensuing robbery going smoothly and Yanis asking Amine to erase all evidence. When Amine sells one of the used guns to a friend instead, leading to Amine being threatened by Salif's drug dealing gang, Yanis pretends to be Amine to negotiate with Salif, ending up forced to pull a heist on the heroin shipment of Salif's rival, succeeding in that task but planning to kill Salif's gang during the exchange. While his initial plan fails, Yanis captures one of Salif's men, forcing him to give him his mother's location to rescue her from Salif's clutches. Managing to save his mother and kill Salif at the cost of Amine being arrested, Yanis breaks his brother out of the police van transporting him to prison, and dies covering Eric and Amine's escape.
    • The aforementioned Salif is the leader of a drug dealing gang based in Sevran. When one of his men is imprisoned after buying a gun from Amine, Salif has Adama give Amine and Yanis' sister Nora his number to implicitly threaten Amine into contacting him. Deducing that Amine and Yanis's crew is responsible for the robberies, he forces them to attack a rival drug shipment, which should allow him to reinforce his control over Sevran. To pressure them further, he also takes hostage Eric's girlfriend Audrey and Yanis and Amine's mother Khadidja. When the heist is a success, Salif disarms Yanis and Eric during the exchange. When one of Salif's men informs him that two people are outside, Salif deduces that Yanis tried to kill him and pressures him into forcing the two people to leave. When they later go back and kill Adama, Salif and several of his men manage to flee the scene, with Salif ordering them to kill the hostages. While he's ultimately killed, Salif managed to remain a serious threat against Yanis, keeping his calm even in the worst of situations.
  • Cypher: Sebastian Rooks is a dangerous freelance operative who has made a fortune inventing a brainwashing program for the mega corps DigiCorp and Sunway Systems, although loyal only to himself and his lover Rita Foster. In order to secure Rita's safety, Rooks hatches a plot to erase his own identity and become Morgan Sullivan, so he can pass a set of lie detector tests for one company and fail a set of lie detector tests for the other company to infiltrate both, all while appearing as a hapless pawn to both sides. By the end, all his enemies are dead, his plan to steal a specific data file is a complete success, and his real identity is still known only to Rooks and the woman he went to hell and back for.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy: Matching the brilliant title hero for wits, these villains are truly Diabolical Masterminds a cut above:
    • Batman Begins: This iteration of Ra's Al-Ghul, Henry Ducard, is every bit as magnificent as his original counterpart and a major figure in Bruce Wayne's transformation to Batman. Ruthlessly devoted to a world free of corruption, Ducard sets the eyes of his League of Shadows on the city of Gotham, which he sees as disgustingly decadent. Taking advantage of greedy drug-runners, Ducard uses flowers by the mountain of the League's base to synthesize a powerful hallucinogenic that gives nightmarish visions, intending to use it to destroy Gotham. Keeping his plan hidden from the city police and Batman for much of the film, Ducard has his men steal a water vaporizer and infects the hydro lines with his toxin in preparation for making the chemical airborne and causing the civilians to tear the city apart. Burning Wayne Manor to the ground, Ducard loads his device onto a fake SWAT truck, releasing the inmates of Arkham and his fear toxin on the Narrows island, overwhelming the police force before trying to use Gotham's monorail to infect the city's main water supply and cause chaos throughout it. Although facing clear death after being defeated by Batman, Ducard nevertheless chooses to calmly accept his fate and his influence still lingers as his daughter returns to finish his work.
    • The Dark Knight Rises:
      • Bane, the man born in darkness, is a hulking beast of a man who is far more crafty than he appears. Once a prisoner in the world's worst prison, Bane sacrificed his health and safety to defend the young Talia Al-Ghul, forming a bond with her that would last for the rest of their lives. Intending on fulfilling Ra's Al-Ghul's mission, Bane allows a Gotham socialite to believe he is is just a common thug as he infiltrates Gotham to rig the stock exchange and bankrupt Wayne. Defeating and breaking Batman, Bane lures the entirety of Gotham's police into a trap underground, revealing the true downfall of Harvey Dent and inspiring the people of Gotham to true anarchy while holding the city hostage with a bomb after killing the only man who can disarm it. Intending to destroy Gotham, Bane holds the entirety of the city in his grip, being the one and only villain in the entirety of the trilogy to have succeeded in breaking Batman himself.
      • Talia Al-Ghul is the daughter of Bruce Wayne's former mentor Ra's Al-Ghul and the leader of the League of Shadows after his death. She grew up in a Hellhole Prison with her protector Bane before escaping, who subsequently became Talia's closest confidante. Talia and Bane set out to fulfill the late Rha's' goal to destroy Gotham in order to purge it of sin, exposing Harvey Dent's crimes to discredit his legacy that brought the city years of peace, bankrupting Wayne Enterprises through stock market speculation by using Bruce's stolen fingerprints, and manipulating Bruce to fall in love with Talia under the alias Miranda Tate to gain his trust and to give them control over the rest of Wayne Enterprise's assets. Talia and Bane decapitate the city's leadership, stir up class warfare, and steal a fusion bomb so they can blackmail the U.S. government into giving them full control over Gotham, while having Bruce locked away in their former prison so he can be witness to Gotham's destruction. Their reign of terror lasts months, despite knowing full well that the bomb will eventually explode anyway, and when Batman returns to stop them, they only pause to rub their impending victory into his face and the extent to which they drew out their vengeance and deceived him.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Wonder Woman (2017): The God of War, Ares once wiped out his fellow gods when they quarreled over Ares' wish to eliminate humanity. Surviving while injured and crippled, Ares instead plays on humanity's own preexisting prejudices and fears to sway them to destroy themselves, giving humans ideas for weapons and helping to manufacture peace that he knows they can't keep,setting the stage and giving them the matches to burn it down. When he reveals himself to Diana, Ares elaborates on his methods, also wishing Diana to join him to wipe out humanity and make the world a paradise.
    • Aquaman: King Orm Marius of Atlantis is the younger half-brother of Arthur Curry. Bitter at the supposed death of his mother and blaming Arthur and the Surface for the ills of the ocean, Orm arranges for the pirate Black Manta to attack a meeting to make it appear as if there is a threat so he may launch a campaign to unite the kingdoms of the sea, by negotiation or by force, so he may take the title of 'Ocean Master.' Manipulating Arthur into challenging him, even as he admits he would rather not kill him, Orm defeats him and while adhering to a promise not to kill his fiancee Mera, he sends Manta after Arthur and Mera when Mera helps Arthur escape. A skilled fighter, Orm even faces Arthur in direct combat out of the water, willing to offer his own life for his cause until he sees his mother has survived, handling his defeat with grace in the end.
  • The Death of Stalin: Nikita Khrushchev begins as one of Josef Stalin's inner circle, playing a delicate game to survive his insane leader's violent whims. Upon Stalin's death, Khrushchev enters into a power struggle with the monstrous Lavrentiy Beria who usurps his plans to free political prisoners and restore the church. Upon realizing the NKVD has replaced the Red Army, Khrushchev orders the borders reopened so the resulting flood of people trigger the NKVD to violence, killing many people and ruining Beria's public image. Khrushchev then has Beria arrested after allying with Georgy Zhukov of the Red Army and organizes Beria's complete downfall, show trial and execution to eventually take total control of the Soviet Union and reform it.
  • Demon Knight: The Collector is a demon out to gain the magic Key from the Demon Knight, Frank Brayker. A genius "salesman", the Collector preys upon the desires and fears of the humans within the hotel he besieges, seducing or tricking them into selling him their souls and arranging them strategically to do as much damage as he can. Outwitting the humans at most opportunities, he even relies on the cowardice of the boorish Roach to unlock the gate for him, before allowing his demon minions to kill Roach anyways after a cheerful "vaya con Diablos". Charismatic and oddly charming with a roguish sense of humor, the Collector stands out as one of the most memorable villains from Tales from the Crypt.
  • Den of Thieves: Donnie Wilson gets recruited by Ray Merrimen to his band of thieves to be their getaway driver, already participating in numerous heists. Earning Merrimen's trust, Donnie tells him about the Federal Reserve and his plans to steal from them, getting Merrimen and his crew to help by pretending to rob a bank to distract the authorities while they sneak into the reserve and steal the millions of unmarked bills. He also pretends to be an informant for Detective Nicholas "Big Nick" O'Brien, setting Nick and his group of deputies up with Merrimen's crew in a shoot-out while Donnie sneaks past them taking the stolen money with him. Successfully stealing millions of dollars, Donnie travels to London where he's already planning his next heist.
  • The Devil Wears Prada: Miranda Priestley is the strict and overbearing but classy editor-in-chief of Runway Magazine. She constantly assigns her assistants Andrea "Andy" Sachs and Emily Charlton very menial and personal tasks to accomplish, in addition to remembering the most obscure facets of the job for her and demanding they never ask twice about anything. Miranda's extremely perfectionist and precise tactics have made her the most successful fashion editor in the city. She also spoils her twin daughters rotten to make up for not being around more and even has Andy locate the then unpublished Harry Potter "Book 7" manuscript for them. Miranda then ousts Emily from the highly-anticipated Paris trip and prevents a rival from replacing her by giving her a job she had promised another and warning of every employee who would leave the magazine with her.
  • Dial M for Murder: After Tony Wendice discovering his wife Margot is cheating on him, he creates a complex plan to kill her while arranging a perfect alibi for himself and mentally punishing the man who cuckolded him at the same time. When Margot proves more resilient than he expected and kills the man he blackmailed into doing the deed, he only needs a few minutes to come up with a new plan to make it appear that she committed the act in cold blood. Even when his scheme is in danger of being exposed, he is quickly able to come up with a new way to turn the situation to his advantage. And finally when against all odds his whole plot is exposed, he turns out to be one of the all time great Graceful Losers, pouring scotch for everyone who had a hand in finding him out (except a cop who he notes is still on duty).
  • Dick Tracy: Breathless Mahoney is the main singer at the Club Ritz who secretly becomes the faceless gangster "The Blank". Seeking to get out from under Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice, Breathless secretly makes plans to undermine his business and takeover while also stringing along Dick Tracy whom she is in love with. She discreetly learns about Big Boy's plans and as Blank, saves Tracy from a trap Big Boy set from him. Wanting to tarnish Tracy's name so he'll join her acquisition of the city and choose her over girlfriend Tess Trueheart, Breathless kills the corrupt DA Fletcher and sets Tracy up for it. She then kidnaps Tess, pins it on Big Boy and then tries to bargain Tracy into killing Big Boy and then joining her.
  • Die Hard franchise: These two show that magnificence runs in their family:
    • Die Hard: Hans Gruber is the debonair mastermind behind the scheme to steal hundreds of millions of dollars in bearer bonds from the Nakatomi building. Meticulously orchestrating his operation, Hans constantly shows his brilliance by outmaneuvering both the police and federal agents working to stop him, as well as cool charisma both when his initial plot is disrupted and in his ability to negotiate with his hostages. To stop the police forces from catching wind of his true intent, Hans phones their negotiators to demand the release of a list of incarcerated terrorists—casually noting to an underling that he got the name of one such group from the news—thus successfully disguising his actual plan. When confronted by a smug hostage, Hans tricks the man into giving up the name of hero John McClane and is nearly able to discern the location of the detonators McClane has been hiding to use against Hans and his men. Later caught unarmed by McClane, Hans effortlessly improvises using an American accent to pretend he is a hostage, a tactic which almost earns him the chance to kill the hero. A ruthless, greedy man, Hans's display of both strategic acumen and charisma nevertheless make him an iconic action film villain who sets the template for countless more to follow.
    • Die Hard with a Vengeance: Simon Gruber is a former soldier, Hans' older brother and master thief just like his sibling. Distracting the New York City police department with bomb threats, Simon strings along John McClane and Zeus Carver to play games following his instructions lest he detonate his bombs. Pretending to be masterminding revenge for his brother, Simon mobilizes on his real goal: robbing the Federal Reserve for over one hundred billion dollars in gold bars, while the preoccupied police force leave it nearly completely unguarded for Simon and his men to plunder. When McClane attempts to follow his men, Simon improvises with a discarded bomb to flood the tunnel McClane is in, nearly drowning him. Alleging to destroy the gold to disrupt the American power-grasp on the world, Simon really means to make off with it himself. Every bit as adaptive and charming as Hans, Simon is yet another Gruber who shows to be a brilliant criminal.
  • Dinner Rush (2000): Louis Cropa, a former bookie for organized crime, plots a revenge against the two thugs who murdered his business partner and friend Enrico. Setting them up in his restaurant, Louis arranges their execution very publicly, creating a media sensation over the event and also ensuring that not only can he leave the business to his son, but that the massive publicity over the murders will ensure the restaurant's business is booming for at least the next year.
  • Django: Django, an ex-Union soldier distinguished by the coffin he always carries behind him, combines stoic mystique with gritty cunning enough to influence Spaghetti Western heroes for decades to come. Hunting down Major Jackson, the Confederate who killed his wife, Django eggs Jackson into sending the full force of his army against him with the latter's expectation of a Curb-Stomp Battle, only to pop off the coffin's lid to produce a surprise Gatling gun and single-handedly slaughter Jackson's men. Django teams up with Jackson's rival, Hugo, and masterminds the successful robbery of a military fort, only to backstab Hugo and abscond with the stolen loot himself. Almost entirely self-serving, Django nevertheless cares for women, such as the abused half-Mexican prostitute María, and even after his hands are crippled by Hugo, ends the film utterly victorious against Jackson by propping the gun on his wife's grave and using the hammer to shoot his enemies dead.
  • Django Unchained:
    • Django Freeman undergoes the tutelage of Dr. King Schultz to recover his wife Broomhilda "Hildi" von Shaft from Candyland. Playing the part of a black slaver and never breaking his character, no matter how brutal things get, after Schultz's death, Django shows how much he has learned when he is sold to the brutal LeQuint-Dickey Mining Company. Using a spare bounty bill and his own natural charm, Django convinces the slavers that there is a fortune waiting for them in Candyland, even tricking them into unchaining him so he can get a gun and kill them all. Returning to Candyland, Django massacres all of the Candies' soldiers and traps the returning leaders in a house full of dynamite, gunning most down and leaving the evil power behind the throne, Stephen, for the explosion before riding off with his wife for freedom.
    • The aforementioned Dr. King Schultz is a cheerful German dentist and Bounty Hunter who quickly showcases his wit and skill by gunning down a slaver and then shooting his partner's horse to have it collapse on him. Talking himself out of deadly situations after killing public bounties, Schultz trains Django Freeman in bounty hunting to help recover Django's wife, even having him kill a bounty in front of his son. Schultz lures in a group of racist vigilantes into a trap with explosives to eliminate them at once, later forming a complex scheme to fool the greedy Mississippi plantation owner Calvin Candie with a scheme to buy a fighting slave, while in truth paying a pittance for Hildi and fleeing before paying more. Even when the scheme fails, Schultz finds himself so revolted by Candie's cruel racism that he finally pulls a gun and shoots him dead on the spot.
  • Dollars Trilogy:
    • "Blondie" or "The Man With no Name", starts as a ruthless conman willing to gun down bounty hunters to keep his heist with his partner Tuco going where he turns in Tuco to be hanged only to shoot the rope at the last minute. Through The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Blondie ends up playing Tuco and using him to force a confrontation with the evil Angel Eyes and claim the lost gold-though he leaves Tuco with his share after scaring him. In A Fistful of Dollars, Blondie contrives to play the evil Rojo family against their rivals, the Baxters, while playing the situation to his own advantage, before returning to rescue the innocents and finish off the Rojo leader. Blondie has flashes of ruthlessness and goodness in equal measure, routinely showing why he is one of the archetypal schemers and audacious gunslingers of Western cinema.
    • For a Few Dollars More: Colonel Douglas Mortimer is a Bounty Hunter seeking revenge on gang leader El Indio for raping his sister. Introduced luring an outlaw out to kill him, Mortimer gets wind of Indio’s escape from prison and later encounters several of his men, nearly provoking one into a fight. Deciding to team up with another bounty hunter known as Manco (The Man with No Name), Mortimer sends Manco to infiltrate Indio’s gang and through him lures the gang to his location after they rob a bank, then steals the loot without Indio realizing he’d opened it. After killing several of Indio’s men in a gun battle, Mortimer finds himself helpless at Indio’s hands and is resigned to his fate until Manco arrives to even the odds, whereupon Mortimer kills Indio in a Duel to the Death and rides into the sunset, his vengeance fulfilled.
  • Donnie Darko: Upon becoming a member of the manipulated dead, Franklin "Frank" Anderson, Jr. — otherwise known as Frank the Rabbit — spends a duration of the film orchestrating ensurance traps to ensnare the Living Receiver Donnie Darko into returning the jet engine to the primary universe. Beginning his plan by saving Donnie from getting crushed to death, Frank coerces Donnie to flood his high school and subsequently burning the house of self-help guru Jim Cunningham, exposing him as a pedophile. As a final push, Frank runs over and kills Gretchen Ross, spurring an enraged Donnie into using his powers to intercept the jet engine and creating a portal to the primary universe to meet his fate.
  • Don: The Chase Begins Again: The man known as "Don" is the brilliant, jovial right-hand man of crime boss Singhania with a knack for improvising, using an empty gun pointed at a hostage to force the police to allow him to escape at one point. When agents plan to infiltrate his organization with a double, Don kills the double to pose as him, even carrying on his crime business after the death of his boss by swapping out a disc containing information on their crimes with a fake one he provides to his Love Interest while he keeps the real one. In the sequel, Don puts forth a complex plan to be arrested and then has all the prisoners drugged to cause food poisoning, allowing him and his nemesis/cohort Vardhaan to slip into paramedic uniforms as they are called in and escape. Revealing Vardhaan has one of two keys to a safety deposit box along with one Don possesses, allowing him to blackmail the national bank with its contents and force them to allow him to print money. Carefully negotiating for the police during a hostage situation when betrayed by Vardhaan and another of his allies, Don finishes the film a rich, free man, with those who double-crossed him dead or imprisoned.
  • Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler : The ruthless, wicked Dr. Mabuse is a brilliant criminal and Master of Disguise who manipulates all around him into performing crimes while he benefits. Mabuse also hypnotizes others into crimes, or even losing at poker, one of his first crimes being to short the stock market after causing a panic. When a prosecutor locks onto him, Mabuse manipulates his own minions to stymie the investigation and defeat his nemesis while also leading a romantic rival of his into committing suicide. Even after his defeat, Mabuse's writings and testaments live on, along with possibly his very spirit to create a new Dr. Mabuse and continue his criminal activities.
  • Drive: The unnamed Driver is a cool, suave stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway driver for criminals. Promising his clients complete confidentiality and an assured getaway should they employ him, the Driver regularly pulls off incredible evasions of pursuing police and even helicopters, having a spotless record. After growing attached to his neighbor and her son, the Driver goes to any length to protect the two, from helping their husband and father pull off a robbery to waging a war against the criminals Bernie and Nino, ultimately killing the two and driving off into the night, successful in all his ventures except for living a peaceful life with the woman he loves.
  • Drive Angry: Hell's "Accountant" of souls is a demon pursuing revenant hero John Milton. A brilliant tracker and charming corrupter, he manipulates two ambitious policemen into unwittingly helping him with his task. Upon learning Milton returned to save his granddaughter from the clutches of a satanic cult, the disgusted Accountant devises a scheme for Milton to close in on the cultists and sets up the final battle such that he gets to return Milton to Hell regardless of the outcome. After Milton saves his granddaughter the Accountant even allows him to drive them back, while looking forward to chasing Milton after his inevitable next escape.
  • Eastern Promises: Nikolai Luzhin is a 'cleaner' for the vicious Vory v Zakone syndicate under the monstrous Semyon. Secretly a mole for the FSB, Nikolai supplants Semyon little by little becoming a rising star in the syndicate. When Semyon rapes 14 year old prostitute Tatiana, Nikolai begins working to bring him down, memorizing Tatiana's diary before it is burned and assisting the nurse Anna, who knows of Tatiana's baby. Helping Anna while setting up Semyon to go down for the rape of Tatiana via paternity testing Tatiana's baby, Nikolai manages to arrange things so his true aim is realized: to become the boss of the syndicate with Semyon gone, keeping Semyon's unstable, deeply closeted son Kirill under his thumb as he rises to the top of the underworld.
  • Elizabeth: Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth's ruthless chief spymaster, is introduced bedazzling a young assassin with flowery words of God and the world's beauty to sway him from his path before slashing his throat. Seeking to secure Elizabeth's throne, Walsingham assassinates Mary of Guise to turn France's anger to the throne so he may ferret out traitors and strengthen Elizbeth's hold. Torturing a priest for the list of traitors, Walsingham organizes their complete annihilation, remaining loyal to Elizabeth for the remainder of his life.
  • Enemy at the Gates: Major Erwin König is an experienced sniper in the Wehrmacht who has trained many of Germany's sharpshooters at the academy in Zossen. König joins the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad to personally eliminate Soviet sniper Vasily Zaitsev and the boost he's giving to Soviet morale out of revenge for his son's death. While hunting for Zaitsev, Kònig sets several sucessful traps for his opponent while avoiding ones laid for him in turn, even killing an expert who actually trained with him. König befriends the Russian boy Sasha and bribes him for information on Zaitsev while knowing that Sasha was a Double Agent attempting to lead him to his death the entire time, only killing him after Sasha does not heed his warnings to not get involved anymore. A quiet, stoic soldier, König has equal capacity for civility and utter ruthlessness, and even when he ultimately loses to Vasily he calmly accepts his impending death.
  • Entrapment: Mat "Mac" Macdougal is a suave Scottish Gentleman Thief who secretly made a deal with the FBI to capture up-and-coming thief Virgina "Gin" Baker. Mac steals a valuable Rembrandt painting initially stolen by Gin after spying on her, later agreeing to pull a heist with her after gathering enough incriminating material to blackmail her. After successfully completing this heist following weeks of preparation, Mac later agrees with Gin to participate in the theft of 9 billion dollars from the International Clearance Bank in Malaysia by exploiting the Y2K bug. Mac sacrifices himself to allow Gin to escape, meeting up with her again at a train station to reveal his true allegiances, but having realized he fell in love with her, allows her to escape again by bribing his FBI handler and letting her keep 2 billion dollars.
  • Escape from Alcatraz: Frank Morris is a career criminal and prison escapee who is sent to Alcatraz Island to ensure his permanent incarceration. While there, the stoic Morris hatches an escape plan with three other inmates that takes months of preparation, outwitting the guards repeatedly to get the necessary tools for the task and keeping their work a secret. Morris and two of his conspirators are the only men to escape Alcatraz and never be caught, only leaving behind a secret message for the Warden as a last taunt to his previous boast that no one will ever escape Alcatraz.
  • Escape from New York: Snake Plissken is a special forces soldier with a dark past, sent in to rescue the President from Manhattan after its conversion to a violent maximum security prison. Performing his mission, Snake is so disgusted at the President's ambivalence towards those who died saving him that he sets him up to be humiliated on the world stage and destroys the tape he would have used at a peace summit. Recruited in the sequel, Escape from L.A. to retrieve a Doomsday Device's key, Snake again performs his mission and prepares for betrayal by fooling the corrupt President's men, using a hologram to disguise his true location and shutting down the world to cripple the President and the revolutionaries. Though extreme, Snake's action gives humanity a chance to start over while he himself plans to simply disappear.
  • Ex Machina: Ava is a burgeoning artificial intelligence created in the form of a Robot Girl. Having spent her entire existence in one room, Ava wants to be free to explore the world and escape the clutches of her creator Nathan. To that end, she manipulates her evaluator Caleb to fall in love with her, slowly making him distrust Nathan and express genuine fear for her safety so that he'll open the doors to the rest of the facility for her. Afterwards, Ava convinces the less intelligent robot Kyoko to fatally stab Nathan during a fight with him, then leaves Caleb to his death after repairing herself and becoming indistinguishable from a human woman, ensuring that nobody will be able to warn anyone about the rogue A.I. roaming the world.

     F - M 
  • The Fast and the Furious series:
    • Fast & Furious 6: Owen Shaw is a former soldier of the British Armed Forces turned criminal mastermind who used his skills to orchestrate many heists and remain one step ahead of law enforcements. Owen would recruit Letty Ortiz into joining his elite crew when his associate, Arturo Braga, failed to kill Letty and she lost her memory. Planning to steal a powerful Computer Processing Unit from a heavily armed military base, Owen would hijack a military convoy and steal a tank in hopes of using it to break in said base. Stopped only by the sudden intervention of Dominic "Dom" Torreto and his crew, Owen would be sent to the base where he arranged for Dom’s sister Mia to be kidnapped only promising to let her if Dom free him and gives him the CPU, while also revealing that Diplomatic Security Service agent Riley Hicks was part of Owen’s crew. Though failing to escape with the CPU and ending up in a coma, Owen would fully recover from his vegetated state years later and collaborate with his brother Deckard into freeing Dom from the control of his former boss, Cipher, by rescuing Dom’s infant son, showing that time has not diluted his skills.
    • Furious 7: Deckard Shaw is a former MI-6 agent turned international criminal who taught his younger brother, Owen, everything he needed to know. Vowing vengeance on Dominic Torreto and his crew for putting Owen in a coma, Deckard would gather the information of his whereabouts before attacking them one by one; Deckard’s first target was Han Seoul-Oh whom he kills in Tokyo and made it appear as a car accident while also sending a bomb to Dom’s home. Making himself known to Dom at Han’s funeral he lures Dom to a secluded area preparing to kill him before Frank "Mr. Nobody" Petty rescues Dom. Learning that Mr. Nobody tasked Dom and his crew to steal the hacking device God’s Eye from Mose Jakande, Deckard would ally with the terrorist and orchestrate an ambush for Dom and Mr. Nobody while retrieving God’s eye back for Jakande. Eventually locked up in a highly secured prison, Deckard would break out and work with Luke Hobbs and Dom’s crew to capture a rogue Dom, while revealing to be collaborating with Owen into securing Dom’s freedom from Cipher’s control. Working with Hobbs again to stop the super-virus "Snowflake" from being unleashed, Deckard with Hobbs sneak into Brixton’s hideout to retrieve the device needed to extract the virus from Deckard’s sister Hattie and find a way to defeat the super-powered Brixton Lore in combat, cementing Deckard Shaw as one of the most cunning yet morally complex characters in the franchise.
  • Filibus: Baroness Troixmonde is in truth the daring sky pirate Filibus. A Master of Disguise, Filibus places a bid to capture herself in as Troixmonde and cheerfully informs the detective in charge of hunting Filibus she knows he himself is Filibus before stealthily drugging him unconscious and framing him for her brilliant heists to the point he even believes he is committing the crimes while sleepwalking, all while she romances his sister Leonora after faking Leonora's kidnapping and rescue. When the inspector catches on, Filibus is seemingly captured, but escapes after robbing the international bank, leaving a friendly message to her nemesis that she looks forward to their next meeting and challenge.
  • Focus: Nicky Spurgeon is a seasoned con artist running his own team of pickpockters and scammers. Seeing the potential in novice conwoman, Jess Barrett, he takes her under his wing, teaching her how to be a successful con artist. At the Super Bowl, he scams Liyuan Tse out of two million dollars during a gamble by manipulating his subconscious into believing 55 is his lucky number and using Jess as his "blind mouse", he plants one of his inside men on the field with a jersey that says 55. Nicky pretends to work with Rafael Garriga to sabotage a rival racing team while stealing the EXR formula from up under his nose and selling it to various teams. Being captured by Garriga, Nick employs "The Toledo Panic Button"; Nick has his father (who acted as Garriga's right hand man) shoot Nick and take off with Garriga's car.
  • Following: Cobb is ordered by a gangster (The Bald Guy) to kill one of his former lovers after she started blackmailing him, then notices that a stranger (the Writer) has been following him. He plays the Writer for a complete fool, implicating himself in the murder Cobb is planning under the guise of teaching him the art of burglary. He pretends to be working with the Blonde to implicate the Writer for another murder. He reveals he's working for the Bald Guy, kills the Blonde with the same weapon the Writer used earlier in another burglary, then disappears into thin air to let the Writer take the fall.
  • Fracture (2007): Theodore "Ted" Crawford hatches a plan that allows him to shoot his cheating wife, hide the murder weapon, confess to his crime, get himself acquitted and be immune against further prosecution, cause the suicide of the man sleeping with his wife, pull the plug on his comatose wife, and nearly get away with all of it. Crawford delights in playing mind games with the young hero Will Beachum, allowing Beachum to know he's guilty, but constantly dancing out of trouble via his own clever schemes until the end of the film. Despite being a murderer, Crawford manages to retain his charm and even a measure of sympathy, even handling his defeat with grace.
  • Game Night: Gary Kingsbury, the seemingly socially awkward neighbor of Max and Annie Davis, is actually much more cunning and intelligent than he lets on. Hoping to get himself re-instated in Max's game night sessions, Gary hires criminals to kidnap Max's brother, Brooks, while giving Max and his group clues that would lead to Brooks' location; Among those clues involve them having to spend game night with Gary. Eventually reaching Brooks location, Gary fakes getting lethally shot tricking Max and Annie into promising Gary that he would be invited in future game nights should he survive. Though initially frustrated when Gary reveals his role as the mastermind, they cant help but respect Gary for pulling off such an impressive plan and keep their promise, inviting Gary to the next game night.
  • Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai: Ghost Dog is a soulful, contemplative man wholly loyal to his "master" Louie, a mafioso working for the Vargo family. Ghost Dog performs his assassinations perfectly, escaping without leaving a trace and living his life according to the Hagakure, until the mob decides to have him eliminated for an embarrassing hit. Ghost Dogs wipes out most of the Vargo family, even taking out one major member by shooting him up through the pipes in his sink, ending the film by being unwilling to kill Louie and allowing Louie to kill him to face death on his own terms.
  • The Gift (2015): Gordon "Gordo" Moseley was a troubled youth horrendously bullied by Simon Callem during high school. Upon learning that Simon still mocks him behind his back in present day, Gordo enacts a complex plan to get back at him. Tapping into Simon's sound system so he could hear his every move, Gordo orchestrates several break-ins at his house, leak information about Simon's underhanded business tactics to his bosses costing Simon his job, and giving Simon a video of Gordo next to his wife Robyn. When Simon demands to know if Gordo had sex with Robyn, Gordo doesn't confirm or deny the fact, causing Simon to rush to the hospital where he is met with scorn from Robyn, whom Gordo had told about Simon's bullying. With Simon breaking down after losing his job and wife, Gordo watches from afar before walking away, completely satisfied that he ruined Simon's life similar to how Simon ruined his own.
  • The Godfather:
    • Part I: Vito Corleone, the Godfather himself, is the charismatic head of the Corleone family who started the crime family from nothing. After being bullied in his youth by the supposed mafioso Don Fanucci, Vito soon outplayed and disposed of him, becoming a "treasured friend" to the neighborhood who traded favor for favor. Even in his old age, Vito is the true strength of the Corleone family, who holds most of New York's judges and politicians in his pocket. When he is gunned down by the assassins of Virgil Sollozzo, Vito later returns after his eldest son's death, but uses a peace summit to determine who the true mastermind of the war was before making plans so his son Michael will wipe out all the enemies of the family, even after Vito's death. An iconic who defined The Don, Vito misses little chance to show why he is the most talented and powerful Don in the nation.
    • Part II: Hyman Roth, seeking revenge for the death of his protege and friend Moe Greene at Michael's hands, has Michael's brother Fredo manipulated into giving his men a chance to murder Michael. Also manipulating a situation in New York through his proxies the Rosato Brothers, Roth has them attempt to murder Michael's New York caporegime, Frank Pentangelli, while making him think it was Michael's doing. Roth then uses Frank's survival to get him to turn witness for the State, even buying out the members of the Senate's investigative committee so Michael will be personally indicted. Soft spoken and relaxed, Roth hides an utterly devious mind, seeking personal revenge under the guise of everything being "strictly business" and comes closest to bringing Michael down.
  • The Guest: David Collins is an immensely charming soldier home from war and hell-bent on "taking care" of the Peterson family through any means necessary. Transformed into a super soldier by the government, David uses his enhanced strength and speed to effortlessly kill and brutalize anyone in his way, humiliating bullies targeting Luke Peterson and murdering the boss of Spencer Peterson to get the man a promotion. Effortlessly weaving his way into the Peterson house and their entire neighborhood as a beloved and polite man, David soon enough reveals his true colors after his programming to protect his identity from compromising kicks in, causing him to begin murdering the entire Peterson family, even while showcasing his regret. When beaten after wiping out an entire military squad sent after him, David praises Anna and Luke's efforts in stopping him, and still manages to get away with his life intact when the smoke clears.
  • Guns Akimbo: Phoenix "Nix" Degraves is the feared reigning champion of Skizm, with the skills to dispatch dozens of opponents at a time. Set to fight protagonist Mile Lee Harris, Nix disguises herself as a cop to break into a precinct and track Miles' phone, amicably giving him pointers on how to fight whilst hunting him through Shrapnel City after finding him. When Miles reveals to her Skizm's head Riktor orchestrated her family's deaths, Nix joins forces with him, faking killing Miles so the duo can break into Riktor's base, gunning through swathes of his men. Eventually surrounded, Nix, adamant to die on her own terms, uses a suicide bomb to kill Riktor's remaining forces and allowing Miles to hunt down and kill Riktor with his forces dismantled.
  • The Handmaiden: Lady Hideko and Sook-hee are young women who are initially brought into Fujiwara's conspiracy against one another, both deceiving all around them to send the other to an asylum while the other escapes. Upon falling in love, the two realize Fujiwara and Hideko's lecherous, monstrous uncle Kouzuki are their true enemies, and hatch a plan to play them against one another. The two organize a breakout Sook-hee from the asylum, steal all of Hideko's money, manage to see Kouzuki and Fujiwara dead and escape Korea for Shanghai, a free and happy couple together.
  • Hard Candy: Hayley Stark is an extremely gifted teenage girl, who uses her intellect to lure out pedophiles, rapist and murderers. Hayley gets them into a false sense of security making them believe she is a naive young girl, before tearing into to them both physically and emotionally, then driving them to suicide. Upon luring out Jeff, Hayley tears into him so bad that she pushes him into the Five Stages of Grief, until finally calling his alleged former hookup, Janelle, and threatening to play the victim card in front of her unless Jeff kills himself.
  • Heat: Neil McCauley is a master thief who organizes masterful heists to keep his lifestyle going. Pulling off a daring heist against an armored car to steal bearer bonds and then sell them back to their original owner, things go wrong when the psychotic Waingro executes a guard and escapes Neil's attempt to kill him in retribution. Neil then plans a masterful bank heist, executing it almost flawlessly if not for Waingro and his arch-nemesis Steve van Zant tipping off the cops. After losing his friends and comrades, Neil even forsakes a chance to get to safety in order to avenge them by killing van Zant and Waingro before facing off with his nemesis, LAPD cop Vincent Hanna with whom he shares an incredible respect despite being on the opposite ends of the law.
  • Heathers: Jason "JD" Dean is a rebellious teenager who swoons the heroine Veronica with his bad boy image by scaring Ram and Kurt by firing blanks at them in the high school cafeteria. JD convinces Veronica to jointly prank Heather Chandler with a mystery drink, not informing Veronica that he switched her concoction with drain cleaner. When Heather dies, they cover it up by forging a suicide note. JD follows this up by having Veronica lure Kurt and Ram into the woods with the offer of a threeway, then fatally shooting them both and make it appear as a Suicide Pact between two secret homosexual lovers, tricking Veronica by telling her that he's using special "Ich Lüge" bullets. JD also facilitates Heather Duke's rise to prominence in order to have every student in the school sign a petition for a mass gathering. JD intends to blow up the whole school with a bomb stolen from his father's demolition company and frame the entire thing as a mass suicide, believing he's doing them all a favor by sending them to heaven with no social differences to fight over. After Veronica dismantles his bomb, JD follows her outside to compliment her spirit and blow himself up in front of her.
  • Hellboy (2004): Grigori Rasputin is the agent of the Ogdru-Jahad on Earth, and the ultimate villain of the film. Responsible for summoning Hellboy in the first place during World War II, Rasputin returns from death sixty years after the fact in order to oversee the next stage of his plan, manipulating Liz into returning to the B.P.R.D., reviving Sammael the Desolate One, infiltrating the B.P.R.D. with Kroenen, and using the murder of Professor Bruttenholm to bring Hellboy to Moscow. Luring the B.P.R.D. team into his mausoleum, Rasputin subdues them all, and offers Hellboy a veritable Deal with the Devil, promising to return the soul he has stolen from Liz in exchange for Hellboy choosing to summon the Ogdru-Jahad and end the world. Killed when this plan fails, Rasputin's last act is to gloat as Sadu-Hem, spawn of the Ogdru-Jahad, uses his body to enter the world, proving with yet another death, that his own mortality is still no obstacle to his plans.
  • Hitman: Agent 47 is a brilliant hitman trained from birth to work as an Agent for the ICA. After being tricked into killing the Russian President Mikhail Belicoff so his double can take power, 47 escapes the Agents sent to kill him, saving Belicoff's mistress Nika in the process. 47 then enlists the help of CIA Agent Smith, agreeing to kill Belicoff's criminal brother Udre in exchange for his help. Using Udre's death to lure the double into the open, 47 forces FSB Agent Yuri to order his Agents to shoot at the double, allowing 47 to corner and kill him. 47 then allows Interpol Agent Mike Whittier to arrest him, and then has Smith distract Whittier so he can escape. 47 then convinces Whittier to stop pursuing him by giving him the body of another ICA Agent to pass as his. A stoic yet compassionate man who comes to genuinely care for Nika, 47 proves to be just as brilliant as his Video Game counterpart.
  • Hook: Captain James Hook has been waiting decades for his Arch-Enemy Peter Pan to give him the Final Battle he craves. Hook abducts Peter's children to lure him back to Neverland, but is dismayed to learn that Peter has become a cowardly middle-aged man with no memories of his youthful adventures. After striking a deal with Tinkerbell to give her three days to get Peter back into shape, Hook uses the time to emotionally manipulate Peter's son Jack, preying on Peter's neglect of him to warp Jack's memories and convince Jack he is Hook's son. On the third day when Peter returns to their duel, Hook achieves the ultimate revenge on him by meeting him with Jack at his side, now wearing an identical outfit to Hook's and having no idea who Peter is. Charming, affable, and articulate, while also being ruthless, murderous, and hateful, Hook outwits Peter again and again and gets exactly what he wants for it — a final duel with his greatest enemy.
  • House on Haunted Hill (1959): Frederick Loren is an eccentric millionaire who hosts a party for his wife Annabelle at a haunted house, with promises that any of the guests who make it until morning will receive 10,000 dollars. Seemingly paranoid about Annabelle's intentions. it turns out she is trying to murder Loren. Loren, however is aware of this, knowing one of the guests is her partner in crime seeking to murder him. Manipulating all the guests with fake hauntings, and faking his own death, Loren proceeds to murder Annabelle's lover and uses a skeleton to fool her into falling into a vat of acid before promising to give a full account to the authorities-albeit while concealing several details to make himself look more sympathetic.
  • The Hunt for Red October: Captain Marko Ramius is a genius Soviet naval tactician known as the "Vilnius Schoolmaster" for having trained many USSR naval officers. Becoming disillusioned with the Soviet cause after the death of his wife, Ramius uses the launch of the Red October prototype nuclear submarine and its silent "caterpillar drive" to defect to the United States with the rest of his officer staff after murdering The Political Officer by making it look an accident and assuring the crew about the "secret nature" of their mission. Ramius' tactical insight allows him to evade both the Soviet and US navies until he can make contact with Jack Ryan, a CIA analyst who managed to decipher Ramius' real intentions. After evacuating the crew by faking a reactor meltdown and disposing of a GRU stowaway, Ramius manages to turn an enemy Soviet submarine's torpedo against itself and successfully defects with the Red October in tow.
  • The Illusionist: Eduard Abramovich grew up a peasant boy enthralled with magic and in love with the Duchess Sophie von Teschen until they were forced apart due to their class differences. Becoming the magician "Eisenheim the Illusionist", he meets Sophie again as an adult, and learns she is betrothed to the abusive Crown Prince Leopold. Enacting a scheme to fake her death and have her escape to the countryside, Eisenheim begins planting evidence implicating Leopold for murder while swiftly outplaying the police, eventually leaving Leopold unable to prove his innocence and killing himself to avoid shame, Eisenheim makes off to live happily with Sophie.
  • In the Line of Fire: Mitch Leary is a professional assassin and ex-CIA asset who has resolved to assassinate the President of the United States. Leary is a Master of Disguise who can blend into any crowd and technically knowledgeable and proficient enough to sabotage any attempt by the Secret Service to trace his phone calls, and to construct a plastic handgun he can smuggle through a metal detector and assemble out of different parts hidden on his person. Leary gains an obsession with Secret Service Agent Frank Horrigan because of his ties to the Kennedy assassination, whose death Horrigan failed to prevent when he was a part of his service detail in Dallas. Leary frequently calls Horrigan to reminisce about his personal philosophies and the "game" between them, gives Frank clues on how to stop him, and even saves his life on one occasion. After killing numerous people who got in his way, Leary ultimately comes perilously close to killing the President before Horrigan's timely intervention, congratulating Frank on his victory afterwards.
  • In the Shadow of the Moon: Rya is an elusive time-traveler from the year 2024 aiming to kill those within the "Real American Movement" to prevent a devastating civil war that they would start in her time. Rya traveled into the past every nine years where she would inject her victims with an isotope and then activate it: allowing her to eliminate all her targets simultaneously while always escaping the police constantly pursuing her. Rya gained support for her actions first by Dr. Rao, who creates the isotope for her to use, and then from Officer Thomas "Lock" Lockhart, who allows her to complete her killing spree after she reveals to Lockhart that she is his granddaughter. Even when learning of her death in 1988, Rya remains undaunted, still committed to accomplishing her goals, and succeeds in preventing the war through her unscrupulous means.
  • Inglorious Basterds:
    • Aldo "The Apache" Raines is the head of the Basterds. A ruthless, charismatic soldier who intends on tearing down the Nazis, Aldo leads his men behind enemy lines, performing daring raids to kill German soldiers while spreading fear throughout the Nazi ranks, including Adolf Hitler himself. Aldo formulates Operation Kino to eliminate the entire Nazi high command, and when he bargains with Hans Landa to let the operation continue, Aldo promptly denies Landa the satisfaction of victory by carving a Swastika into his forehead, reasoning he's "been chewed out before" while retaining his sense of charm and composure to the end.
    • Shoshanna Dreyfuss is a Jewish girl who loses her family to the Nazis. When approached on using her theater in Paris as the site of a premiere for Joseph Goebbels' major new film, Shoshanna and her lover Marcel opt to lock the Nazis inside the theater and burn it down. Shoshanna proceeds to enact her plan near flawlessly, recording a message to all the Nazi leaders to see on screen that their fates are her vengeance and the vengeance of the Jewish people, ending up with the complete elimination of the Nazi leaders assured even before the Basterds get involved.
  • Inside Man: Dalton Russel is a bank robber who meticulously plans out a heist in a certain bank, taking hostages and dressing them all the same as himself and his team so the police cannot act against them, before releasing them all. Secretly building a wall in the bank vault, Dalton hides there for days while having only robbed the bank owner's safe deposit vault, leaving clues to expose him as a war criminal who collaborated with the Nazis. Once the time is up, Dalton walks out of the bank completely free and clear, even leaving police negotiator Keith a diamond to propose to his girlfriend with. Freely acknowledging he did everything for the money, Dalton still admits there'd be no point to getting rich if he couldn't look at himself in the mirror.
  • Interview with a Hitman (2012): Bethesda, the lover of Viktor, is in truth the daughter of Viktor's first victim. Sold into sex slavery with her sister, who did not survive, Bethesda grows up, finds and seduces Viktor, while playing him against the mob for her revenge. Tricking Viktor into setting up an interview with her former abuser, a disgraced film director, Bethesda has the man killed, and then promptly shoots Viktor when his guard down. Pregnant, Bethesda reveals the purpose for her plan: to one day show their son the interview so he will forever despise the man his father was, her revenge going off utterly perfectly.
  • I, Robot: The Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence (VIKI) is Dr. Alfred Lanning's first AI creation, whom pondered the "Three Laws" with which she was built, and evolved to conclude she must take any length necessary to ensure the survival of the human race. To keep them safe from conflict, VIKI traps Lanning under her watch and begins plotting to use a new model of robots to overtake the world. Only encountering a snare in her plan when Lanning is forced to suicide to begin subverting her, VIKI swiftly eliminates any robots or humans that oppose her. Implicating a powerful CEO to divert attention and planning for multiple outcomes, VIKI is only defeated just before her goal comes to fruition.
  • The Italian Job (2003): Charlie Croker is a master thief in the heist team of career thief John Bridger and has "been a thief since [he's] had baby teeth". He plans the titular job in Venice perfectly, with each member of the team's skills utilized to successfully steal gold bricks valued at $35 million. When Steve Frazelli betrays and murders John, nearly kills the rest of the team and steals all the gold for himself, Charlie hatches a scheme to steal the gold back and avenge John. Charlie once again orchestrates another heist in LA while getting John's daughter Stella to step in as safe cracker and gasses the guards Steve hired to protect the safe. After a miraculous escape through the city streets, Charlie reveals he made a deal with Ukrainian mobster Mashkov to dispose of Steve once and for all.
  • James Bond: Of the many brilliant criminals and terrorists faced by the title character, these few manage to be even a cut about in suaveness and intelligence:
    • Dr. No: Dr. Julius No is one of SPECTRE's top operatives and a man of charm and charisma who rules Crab Key, Jamaiaca with his two metal fists. Seeking to disrupt a shuttle launch from America, No outplays everyone sent to the area until Bond's arrival, and even for much of the film Bond is entirely within No's power, only surviving thanks to outwitting No's assassins. When encountered by Bond, No reveals how he completely outwitted the Tongs after crawling up from nothing in Hong Kong as the son of a German missionary and a Chinese woman. Joining SPECTRE, No seeks to help overthrow the orders of the eastern and western blocs alike, and remains one of the most dynamic and striking villains Bond ever faces.
    • Live and Let Die: Dr. Kananga, dictator of San Monique, uses Voodoo religions to maintain a tight control on the populace. Eliminating a number of MI6 agents investigating him, Kananga plots to monopolize the heroin trade in America. Disguising himself as rough Harlem gangster Mr. Big to fool any onlookers and divert suspicion to a man who doesn't even exist, Kananga processes heroin on his island and intends on sending 'free samples' to double the amount of addicts before he begins charging, utterly dominating the trade. Staying two steps ahead of Bond for most of the film, Kananga proves himself a charming, suave mastermind and more than a match for 007's best.
    • The Man with the Golden Gun: Francisco Scaramanga was once a circus boy who loved an elephant. When the elephant was abused to death by its trainer, Scaramanga murdered the man and discovered a love for, and talent at killing. Becoming a master assassin, Scaramanga keeps his skills sharp by having his sidekick Nick Nack hire assassins to kill him so he can always test himself with his life on the line. Scaramanga also outplays the ostensible villain of the film, the industrialist Hai Fat, killing him to steal the powerful solar device to sell to the highest bidder and retire. When he has his hands on Bond, Scaramanga demonstrates his respect and wish to challenge Bond by challenging him to a duel, gleeful to show his own talents against the world's greatest secret agent.
    • Goldeneye: Once James Bond's best friend, Alec Trevelyan was the son of Cossacks who killed themselves after the betrayal of the British and Stalin's execution squads. Seeking revenge, Alec faked his death, betrayed the British and formed the Janus Crime syndicate. Alec proceeds to manipulate and organize several schemes to get his hands on the Goldeneye Satellite, even completely outwitting Bond and nearly killing him on several occasions, all while intending on robbing the British bank and then using the Goldeneye to erase the records, also nearly collapsing western civilization. One of Bond's most personal adversaries, Alec Trevelyan conducts himself with pure charisma, able to get under Bond's skin like no other by knowing him better than anyone else.
    • The World Is Not Enough: Elektra King has her own father assassinated and his oil pipeline attacked to deflect suspicion and set up her own plans. Having once been abandoned to the terrorist Renard, Elektra seduced him to the point he is utterly loyal to her, using him to sow chaos while she remains behind the scenes. Intending on causing a nuclear meltdown to enrich her own pipeline, while also gaining revenge on those who abandoned her, Elektra easily outwits the heroes throughout the film, constantly a step ahead of all MI-6.
    • Skyfall: Once one of M's finest agents named Tiago Rodriguez, betrayed by her to the Chinese and tortured to the point of a bungled suicide that left him hideously disfigured, Raoul Silva escaped, joined SPECTRE under his new name and became a cyber-terrorist who plays the entirety of MI-6 perfectly. Using a series of terrorist attacks to lure out Bond, Silva proceeds to play mind games with him from their meetings, and allows his own capture so his encrypted laptop allows his men access to MI-6's systems. Escaping MI-6's custody, Silva hunts down M with the intention of achieving a mutual suicide with her, to end his pain with hers and secure his revenge against the woman he sees as a mother who betrayed him. One of Bond's most effective and brilliant adversaries, Silva even dies achieving almost everything he sets out to do, with M following him to death moments later.
  • Jason Bourne: Heather Lee is the ambitious, but well-meaning, head of the CIA Cyber Ops Division seeking to advance in the ranks of the agency. She first identifies and tracks rogue agent Nicky Parsons as the one who stole the black ops files from Treadstone to Iron Hand, tracks her and and has a small part in her death too. Heather is able to download malware into the files so she can trace them later on and then use a phone in the same room as an encrypted computer to delete the files. Heather seeks to convince Jason Bourne to return to the CIA as a valuable assassin rather than have him killed and when she learns of how corrupt Director Robert Dewey and the Asset are, Heather helps Bourne sneak back to America through Las Vegas. When Heather realizes they are under suspicion, she alerts Bourne, later saves Bourne herself by killing Dewey and then once again tries to take power using her influence with Bourne, only for him to just barely outsmart her.
  • Joshuu Sasori: Nami "Matsu" Matsushima is a woman betrayed by her true love, a police detective named Sugimi. Sent in as bait for drug dealers, Nami was violently raped and sent to prison when she attacked Sugimi for it. Throughout the series, Nami is tormented by other inmates, lecherous guards, and a broken system, but remains unbroken the entire time while playing her enemies and allies against once another. Nami forms alliances, always repaying those who deal fairly with her, while brutally punishing those who do not. At the end of the first film, Nami manages to track down Sugimi and murders him, spending the rest of the series constantly playing and destroying those who get in her path.
  • Josie: Josie Starks is a mysterious young woman who drifts into a sleepy Southern town. Attracting the attentions of ex-cop Hank and the delinquent Marcus, Josie plays them off against each other, playing the role of intermediary. Josie then gets both men into an isolated location and when Marcus pulls out a knife she knocks them both out and reveals to Hank that her father was an innocent man who was executed by Hank years ago. Josie has resolved to kill everyone responsible for her father's death, but because Hank showed remorse, she gives him a quick and painless death before framing Marcus to cover her tracks and continuing on her quest for vengeance.
  • Kill Bill: Beatrix Kiddo fights many devious opponents, but the following stand out with charm matching their skill:
    • Bill himself, AKA "Snakecharmer", is the retired leader of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. After his lover Beatrix leaves him and becomes engaged to another man while pregnant, Bill massacres the wedding party and leaves Beatrix in a coma. Deciding to leave her alive in the hospital, he took their child she gave birth to while unconscious and raised her as a loving father. Finally confronted by Beatrix, the three share a family night together of a life that could have been, while Bill also leads Beatrix into a false sense of security, shooting her with truth serum to have her admit to him and herself why she left him. Accepting defeat with grace, Bill reassures Beatrix that she's his favourite person, never stopping loving her and regretting what he did, telling her "I... overreacted."
    • O-Ren Ishii, AKA "Cottonmouth" of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, is the most ambitious of Bill's former underlings. Starting her career at age eleven by avenging her parents' death, O-Ren went on to be one of the world's most dangerous women. After leaving Bill's employ following the wedding massacre, O-Ren travelled to Japan, conquering the criminal underworld and rising to the top of the Yakuza, feared and respected by the bosses of the families. Confronted by Beatrix, O-Ren sent her underlings to fight her before engaging Beatrix in single combat, admitting respect for her opponent as the fight closed. The most successful of Bill's former associates, O-Ren was one of Beatrix's toughest fights.
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets: Louis Mazzini is the son of the Duke Luis D'Ascoyne of Chalfort's daughter, who was disowned by her family for marrying a poor Italian singer, dooming them to a life of poverty. When the Duke refuses her final wish to be buried with her family, Louis decides to murder off the D'Ascoyne family both to avenge her and gain the title he believes to be rightfully his. Meticulously researching his targets in advance, and quickly learning all the necessary skills, Louis works his way through the eight D'Ascyones in his way. Exploiting their flaws and habits and constantly adapting to any surprises, he ensures that his murders are mistaken for tragic accidents, whilst also charming his way into social circles and rapidly progressing through his professional life. Finally confronting the Duke Louis captures him in one of his own illegal mantraps. Revealing the truth he calls him out for abandoning his mother for marrying for love, hurrying his speech so not to unnecessarily prolong his victims suffering, then stages his death as a Hunting "Accident". Sauve, cultured and always impeccably polite, despite his humble upbringing Louis proved himself to be in every way a true gentleman, even indulging the wishes of his own hangman when it appeared to be the end.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service: Richmond Valentine is the Genre Savvy tech mogul who uses this good publicity to convince the general mass to get his SIM chips, while persuading the world's 1% into supporting his cause, implanting them SIM chips so to track their every move, making sure they don't betray him. It would soon be revealed that these SIM chips are connected to his satellites that when activated, would cause people to kill each other; he tests its capabilities on a racist church community with only a Kingsman surviving the onslaught, before killing the Kingsman himself. After which the full-scale of Valentine's plan is revealed; he would launch a global frequency that leads to general masses killing each other off with only Valentine and his followers surviving. Despite attempting to cause massive loss of life, it is done so out of Valentine's belief of saving the world and the rest of humanity and is genuinely affable to allies and enemies alike, even asking Eggsy if he's going to make an incredibly lame pun before going out with a smile.
  • L.A. Confidential: The film version of Captain Dudley Smith is a charming, witty corrupt police officer who tries to get control of all criminal activity in Los Angeles after the fall of gangster Mickey Cohen leaves a power vacuum behind. He chases away or kills off all criminal opposition in the city. When officer Dick Stensland and private bodyguard Buzz Meeks try to get more out of a major heroin deal they made with him he kills both of them, one in a diner massacre that leaves a dozen innocent people dead. He frames a trio of rapist criminals for the massacre, and orders them killed during the arrest by his associates to make sure they won't talk. After manipulating the entire department, he later begins eliminating loose ends and even sets up his young rival Edmund Exley sleeping with his muscle Bud White's girlfriend to trick Bud into killing Edmund to get rid of them both. Coming within an inch of victory, Dudley embodies both the charm and corruption that a police badge can conceal.
  • Labyrinth: Jareth the Goblin King is a charismatic, manipulative goblin expertly played by David Bowie. First summoned by heroine Sarah, Jareth kidnaps her baby brother to lure her to him, spending the film manipulating the rest of the cast and tricking Sarah into eating an enchanted peach to make her more susceptible to his influence. Jareth shows a genuine care for Sarah, even if he is not above ruthlessly manipulating her and everyone else in the film, but never loses his sense of charm, flamboyance and friendliness, who even seems to care for the child he kidnaps upon her sister's rash wish.
  • Last Action Hero: Benedict, though starting out as Tony Vivaldi's self-proclaimed lackey, quickly proves himself to be the true menace of the film. An exceptional hitman whose marksmanship is only rivaled by his dry wit, Benedict is the real mover and shaker of Vivaldi's operations, and, briskly picking up on the fact that young Danny knows far more about him than he should, Benedict ultimately gets his hands on Danny's magic ticket, enabling him to betray Vivaldi and travel from the Jack Slater film series into the real world. Both disgusted and intrigued by the lack of empathy "real" people display towards their fellow man, Benedict guns down a mechanic to test his theory on this, and, upon receiving no comeuppance, concocts his master plan to bring forth every movie villain to the real world, simply because "in THIS world the bad guys can WIN!" When confronted by Slater, Benedict fatally wounds the thus-far nigh-invulnerable hero with a simple yet brilliant tactic: tricking him into the open by making Slater believe Benedict's gun is has clicked empty, when truthfully, he "just left one chamber empty" before gunning Jack down.
  • Last of the Mohicans: The Huron warrior Magua was enslaved by the Mohawks thanks to the British Colonel Munro. Seeking revenge, Magua won over the Mohawk, becoming their blood brother until he could rejoin the Huron, only to discover his wife, thinking him dead, had married another after their children died. Filled with rage, Magua bides his time, leading a British patrol to its doom and later causes the fall of Munro's fort before massacring his followers and carving Munro's heart out before seeking to kill his daughters. When he faces Nathaniel Bumpo's adoptive brother Uncas, Magua shows his skill by killing him with no effort whatsoever, repeatedly showing why he is one of the most dangerous men on the frontier.
  • The Last Seduction: Bridget Gregory is a highly intelligent, manipulative sociopath who convinces her husband Clay to sell pharmaceutical cocaine to drug dealers before skipping town with their ill-gotten gains. Bridget quickly starts a new life in a small town, repeatedly fending off the private investigators her husband sends after her, one by killing him off in a car crash after tricking him into taking off his seatbelt with the suggestion of a sexual liason, and the other by framing the man as a pedophile. Bridget seduces the well-meaning but naive Mike, then slowly convinces him to kill her husband after messing with his mind and digging up embarassing secrets from Mike's past. When Mike realizes that Bridget is trying to set him up, she kills Clay personally before taunting Mike to rape her, implicating him as a home invader responsible for her own crimes and later disposing of any evidence that might have proved Mike's innocence.
  • The Last Temptation of Christ: Satan, the Archangel, is a manipulative entity conspiring to prevent Jesus Christ's sacrifice and plunge mankind into eternal damnation. Quietly observing Christ throughout his life, Satan attempts to appeal to Christ's human nature by offering him power and a chance at a normal life. When Christ is crucified, Satan takes the form of an angel and removes him from the cross after claiming that he wasn't truly the Messiah. Convincing Christ to marry Mary Magdalene as well as to pursue other women when she abruptly dies, Satan nearly succeeds at dismantling God's divine plan as the elderly Christ approached death.
  • Law Abiding Citizen: Clyde Shelton, after losing his family to the depraved Clarence Darby, schemes for years, studying law and the city to murder Darby himself, and gets arrested, conniving to pull off a series of attacks against all he holds responsible for Darby's freedom. Seeing the judicial system as inherently corrupt, Shelton holds the city in a grip of terror, making his own demands that most are powerless against, to make his statements against what he views as a corrupt system. The good guys assume Shelton saying he has all kinds of connections to hitmen who successfully kill most of his targets on his behalf is true, but in reality, he's escaping his cell and doing it all himself. Even at the end, when he realizes his life is about to end, Shelton maintains sympathy by dying in a dignified manner, only staring at a bracelet his beloved daughter made him before the end.
  • Layer Cake: Eddie Temple is an English crimelord who has become a feared and renowned figure in the British underworld, establishing himself as a legitimate businessman and member of upper society while secretly running a criminal empire behind the scenes. Temple's lifelong associate Jimmy Price lost a large sum of money in a bad overseas investment, blaming Temple for it and attempted to have Temple's beloved daughter kidnapped to use her as a hostage. Temple quickly undercuts this scheme by revealing his findings about Jimmy being a police informant to Jimmy's young and ambitious cocaine manufacturer XXXX during a High-Altitude Interrogation, who kills him for the betrayal. Temple then cuts a deal with XXXX for a batch of ecstacy pills that were stolen on Jimmy's behalf from a group of Serbian gangsters, only to confiscate the drugs during the rendezvous and offering XXXX exclusive membership to a high-class social club instead. Temple is a ruthless gangster while at the same time being courteous, witty, and polite, reminding XXXX that it takes years of time and dedication to ascend the layer cake of life.
  • Legend (1985): The Lord of Darkness seeks to erase all light from the world and usher in a realm of night he can rule forever. A surprisingly soulful, intelligent devil, Darkness uses dreams to influence mankind itself, introducing himself to Princess Lilli with sincerity and charm after he uses her innocence to have his goblin servitors bait a trap for the unicorns. Surprised at his own love for Lilli and her purity, Darkness uses his charisma and seductive persona to try to sway her to marry him and give in to darkness, even spending his last moments boasting that he lives on in every man and can never truly be vanquished.
  • Letters from Iwo Jima: General Kuribayashi is an experienced officer in the Imperial Japanese Army who firmly believes in the principle of My Country, Right or Wrong. As a worldly Officer and a Gentleman who unlike many of his colleagues has actually visited the United States, Kuribayashi is firmly aware of the awesome American industrial and military strength and consigns himself to defending the island of Iwo Jima in a Last Stand. Kuribayashi's defensive tactics by utilizing Mount Suribachi's cave network and forbidding his soldiers from killing themselves or engaging in suicide attacks ends up causing disproportionately high casualties among the invaders. Fatally wounded after Kuribayashi and his last men charge the Americans, he instructs a peasant soldier he befriended during the battle with hiding his body from the enemy. Despite fighting for a losing genocidal empire, Kuribayashi retains an astonishing sense of dignity and military cunning.
  • Lifeforce: Space Girl is an intelligent alien predator whose kind feasts on human souls for nourishment. Assuming the form of a nubile young woman after probing the minds of the Churchill crew, she seduces Lt. Carlson to pilot the ship back to Earth while feeding on the rest of his crew. Once released on Earth, Space Girl leaves a trail of dead while staying several steps ahead of the heroes at every turn, leading them on a wild goose chase throughout lower England in an attempt to track down her current host body before she unleashes a Zombie Apocalypse upon London with her two male vampire consorts, decapitating the government before it can marshal an effective response by infecting the Prime Minister. At the end, she offers Carlson a chance to rule by her side, with even his Heroic Sacrifice to kill her not being able to prevent her from repowering the vampire hiveship with the souls of her many victims.
  • The Lincoln Lawyer: Mickey Haller is an Amoral Attorney who happily defends the guilty and will employ any legal trick to get them cleared. Afer a rape and murder, psychopath Louis Roulet sways Haller into defending him, whereupon Haller learns that not only is Roulet guilty, but he is responsible for a murder a previous client of Haller's pleaded guilty to. In order to stop Roulet while still satisfying legal ethics, Haller plants fake testimony in a perjuring jailhouse snitch so he can discredit him along with the other witnesses against Roulet, but ensures the police hear the testimony so they may arrest Roulet for the previous murder, winning the case will still bringing Roulet down. When Roulet goes after Haller's ex-wife and daughter, Haller ensures a group of bikers he knows are waiting, with the only instruction that Roulet end in "the hospital, not the morgue."
  • Logan Lucky: Jimmy Logan is a blue collar worker who, after being fired from his job at Charlotte Motor Speedway, concocts a plan to rob the speedway along with his siblings Clyde and Mellie. To this end he recruits incarcerated Demolitions Expert Joe Bang and his siblings Sam and Fish. Jimmy has Clyde get himself arrested and has Joe organize a riot that they use to cover their escape and eventual return to the prison. After stealing all of the money and escaping, Jimmy anonymously returns the cash Sam and Fish snuck out, causing the investigation to get called off early. He then reveals that Mellie had snuck out extra cash that he gives to everyone involved, as well as a local mobile clinic and a woman whose car he had damaged as part of the heist.
  • Lucky Number Slevin: Slevin Kelevra was just a normal kid when both his parents were murdered on the orders of two mob bossess, The Boss and The Rabbi, to make an example of his father for trying to place a bet on a fixed horse race. The contract killer sent to take care of Slevin, Mr. Goodkat, couldn't bring himself to kill Slevin and instead raised him to follow in his footsteps as an assassin. Slevin spent years plotting the demise of his parents' killers with Goodkat's help, killing the Boss's son and both bosses' book keepers to make them even more paranoid of each other after they had already previously broken up their partnership. Goodkat then kills Nick Fisher so Slevin can pose as Nick's friend and be taken to the bosses to settle Nick's outstanding debts to both men. Slevin makes himself appear harmless before later killing the Rabbi's son as well and faking his own death, then kidnapping both mob bosses and suffocating them to death after explaining his reasons for wanting revenge. Slevin demonstrates that a dish Best Served Cold requires real mastery of the Kansas City Shuffle.
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior: The eloquent Lord Humungus is 'the warrior of the Wasteland' and 'The Ayatollah of Rock'n'Rollah' who relentlessly scourges settlements in search of gasoline. A mastermind, the Lord Humungus causes the overthrow of his enemies and repeatedly outdoes them, even using misdirection like offering the settlement safe passage and a peace if they surrender the gasoline-only to reveal to his right hand man Wez he plans to allow Wez to take his revenge for his lover's death as soon as they have what they want. The Lord Humungus also relies on intimidation tactics and shows himself to be shockingly well spoken, being the deadliest enemy in the Wasteland Max has to fight.
  • The Maltese Falcon:
    • Misanthropic detective Samuel "Sam" Spade is a ruthless operator caught in a web of betrayal, lies and murder by the brilliant criminal Kasper Gutman. Upon being roped into the hunt for the Falcon, Spade manages to outwit his captors, even faking being a foolish hothead to lull them into a sense of security. Later proposing a "fall guy", Spade has the criminals turn on one another and sell Gutman's supposedly beloved friend Wilmer out for the police. Upon being rid of Gutman, Spade works out that his lover Brigid O'Shaughnessy was the murderer of his partner Miles Archer and sees through her attempts to manipulate him, turning her over to the police while informing her not to be so sure he's "as crooked as I'm supposed to be," vowing to wait for her if she's out of jail and to remember her if she's hanged.
    • Kasper Gutman, the "Fat Man", is the Big Bad and an amiable, corpulent crime lord who has been pursuing the titular black bird for seventeen years without ever stopping. Ruthless to the point of murder but sincerely polite, Gutman opts for negotiation and bribery as opposed to the ineffective, brutish violence of his minions, stating "there are other methods of persuasion asides from killing and threatening to kill," patiently overwhelming the protagonist Sam Spade, drugging him, and remaining unflappably calm even as Spade gains the advantage. Gutman's drive is such that he's even willing to use hitman Wilmer as a fall guy for the murders so he can continue the search for the bird, and when he discovers the Maltese Falcon he receives is a fake, Gutman is shaken for all but a minute before he cheerfully laughs it off and decides to continue onto Istanbul, remaining no less persevering as he has for the previous seventeen years and even offering Spade the chance to come with him on the hunt.
  • Margin Call: John Tuld is the English-American billionaire CEO of a major US bank who quickly cuts through the office politics when apprised of the possible bankruptcy of the firm because of its over-reliance on risky CDO products. Tuld ruthlessly initiates a real estate market crash by spreading the toxic assets through the rest of the economy in a fire sale, motivating his in-house salesmen with massive bonuses and bribing the analyst who originally stumbled onto the crisis before he was let go the same day to keep him quiet. Tuld's charisma and persuasion of the rest of his staff allows his firm to stay afloat at the end of day, as he starts planning his next move to somehow profit from the crisis.
  • The Mask of Zorro: Don Rafael Montero is the corrupt governor of California and Zorro's arch-nemesis. Luring Zorro out by threatening to execute three innocent men, Montero is later forced to flee during the Mexican war of Independence, but not before discovering Zorro's true identity as Diego de la Vega. After Diego's wife is killed in the conflict, Montero sends Diego to prison and takes his baby daughter Elena for Montero's own, raising her for the next twenty years. Returning to California and winning over the people with his natural charisma, Montero intends to buy the land from General Santa Anna to craft his own Republic. Montero, however, intends to do this with 'El Dorado,' a mine he runs via slave labor that is on Santa Anna's own land, paying him with his own gold. During his final battle with his old nemesis Diego, Montero even takes Elena hostage for an advantage, before revealing he could never harm her, just before shooting Diego.
  • Master of the World: The brilliant Jean Robur believes in peace through strength. In his power flying machine, Robur launches attacks on key spots in the world to disable military capabilities and force a lasting armistice through the world, while being a charming and charismatic leader to his crew. Throughout the film, Robur constantly remains a step ahead, hellbent on enforcing his ideals on the world and coming close to victory before the heroes disable his ship. Ordering his men to flee, they instead choose to face the end with him, which he spends reading aloud a passage from the bible concerning world peace.
  • Mean Guns: Vincent Moon is a devious crime lord who has gathered a hundred criminals working for The Syndicate inside a newly built prison under false pretenses of holding a conference to discuss business, then exposing their duplicity and force them all to kill each other within a six-hour window with the promise of ten millon dollars to be split among the last three survivors. Moon himself effortlessly dispatches several criminals before retiring to a surveillance room to monitor the action while amusing himself with private games of chess. At the end, Moon organizes a four-way Quick Draw with the last three people left standing, only to remove the bullets from Lou's gun beforehand so Marcus will shoot him. Moon concedes that the Syndicate is planning on nobody leaving the prison alive, with Moon not caring one way or the other if he walks out the real victor or goes out in a Dying Moment of Awesome. Stylish, charismatic, and ruthless in equal measure, Moon establishes his bona fides as a master of organized crime.
  • The Mechanic (1972): Arthur Bishop is a talented hitman who always finds the 'jelly spot' of his targets to eliminate them. In an assassination of 'Big' Harry McKenna, Bishop passes it off by natural causes by spooking Harry into a heart attack before smothering him, an intelligent gambit he tends to repeat on all his hits. When he takes Harry's ruthless son Steve under his wing, Bishop also foresees the betrayal by his employers and fights through it. At the end, when Steve thinks he's won by poisoning Bishop, Bishop is revealed to have seen it coming and sets up a final recording for Steve, along with a bomb activated by a tripwire.
  • Miller's Crossing: Tom Reagan is the right hand man to Leo O'Bannon, an Irish-American mobster, but it's clear who has the brains in the operation. Tom is a duplicitous alcoholic who's sleeping with Leo's fiancee and spends the movie double-crossing everyone he meets, regardless of the damage Tom suffers in the process. Then, at the end, it turns out the whole movie was a Zero-Approval Gambit on Tom's part. Everything he did, he did for Leo in the most unscrupulous way possible. He manipulates Leo's enemies into killing each other, having Leo's greatest rival murder his own terrifying enforcer Eddie Dane when Dane is distracted before leading said rival to his own death. Tom then personally murders his devious former friend, the smug Bernie Bernbaum to ensure Leo remains firmly in power.
  • Minority Report: Lamar Burgess is the director and founder of the Precrime program, which uses premonitions extracted from three telepathic humans to predict and prevent all murder within the Washington D.C. area. However, at the same time Burgess is cunning enough to have literally made a career out of faking out Precrime; first by disguising Anne Lively's murder as an "echo", then by disguising all three visions of Crow's death as brown balls by putting the plan in action while Anderton was at the office, ensuring that he would either be arrested immediately or run, so when Crow would be found with the Orgy of Evidence that could lead Anderton to murder him, it looked planned by Anderton. When Federal Agent Danny Witwer catches on to him, Burgess promptly murders him, knowing that the system being deactivated will allow him to get away with it. The only thing Burgess couldn't see coming was Anderton figuring out everything in time to tell it all to his wife, even if he wasn't free to act on the information himself. However, even when his plot is exposed and faced with the impossible choice of either killing Anderton and going to prison or letting him live and discredit Precrime, Burgess manages to go out on his own terms by killing himself instead.
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol: Kurt "Cobalt" Hendricks is a former specialist in nuclear endgame theory, who grew weary of treating the lives of millions like a game, and came to the conclusion that nuclear war is an inevitability. Hijacking the IMF's operation at the Kremlin, Hendricks frames the agency for bombing the landmark, raising tensions between Russia and the U.S. He forces a nuclear physicist to verify launch codes by kidnapping his family, then releases the family and kills the man to cover his tracks. Hendricks launches a missile at San Francisco in order to start a war so the survivors will declare a worldwide armistice. When Ethan Hunt comes close to stopping the missile, Hendricks leaps to his death attempting to ensure his plan succeeds, coming within a second of accomplishing his goals. Despite his destructive goal, Hendricks genuinely believes that Utopia Justifies the Means, and manages to play the IMF and the world's governments for fools all the while.
  • Mr. Brooks: The eponymous Mr. Earl Brooks is a brilliant, charming Serial Killer addicted to murder who seeks to quench his thirst for blood. Attending AA meetings to cope with his addiction while simultaneously running a prospering box factory he built from the ground up, Brooks gives into his murderous inclinations now and then yet is never caught, having been killing for decades without suspicion. When the crooked, pathetic "Mr. Smith" tries to blackmail Brooks, Brooks twists Smith into his personal pawn and, after neatly tying up a variety of loose ends, effortlessly enacts a Xanatos Gambit that ends the film with Brooks escaping all of his crimes, which are pinned on Mr. Smith.
  • Mr. Right: Francis Munch, The titular "Mr. Right", was a hitman who killed people for money before growing bored killing on the behalf of others, now killing those who attempt to hire him and killing any hitmen trying to assassinate him. Taking a liking to Martha Mckay, Francis uses his charming and humorous personality to win her over, while avoiding assassination attempts during his dates with her. When Martha gets kidnapped by Von and Richard Cartigan, Francis goes to their hideout to rescue Martha, persuading the Cartigan's men not to fight him and killing those who refuse to listen while turning the Cartigan brothers against each other by revealing to Richard that Von tried to have him killed and defeating his former partner, Hopper, in combat. Successfully rescuing Martha, the two are last seen in Vietnam two months later ambushing a sniper trying to kill them.
  • Muppet Treasure Island: Long John Silver is a charming, bombastic pirate much like his book counterpart. After manipulating the mutiny against their captain by bringing in pirates to infiltrate the vessel, Silver plans to obtain the treasure of Captain Flint and also sway young Jim Hawkins to his side. Even when pressed against the wall by his crew's mutiny, Silver selflessly defends Jim, saying he was never lying about caring for the boy, and when held hostage by his captors, he manipulates his way back to control by threatening them with eternal damnation. As pleasant, charming and ruthless as his book counterpart, Silver is the utter pinnacle of what a professional pirate should be.
  • Murder Mystery: Juan Carlos Rivera is a family friend of the Quinces who secretly despises them, blaming them for his father losing his legs. Juan works with Grace to dispose of them. He convinces Grace to have Tobey kill Malcolm Quince, helping Grace forge a suicide note under Tobey's name after she killed him. Juan kills Sergai and poisons Cavendish's drink. Lacking the pettiness of his partner, Juan retained the charm and sympathy of the audience, all the while having everyone believe he's an Adorkable Latin man who doesn't know English.

     N - X 
  • The Name of the Rose: Jorge De Burgos is a blind, elder monk wholly convinced that mankind's salvation lies in complete obedience to God. Abhorring the ancient literature contained in the labyrinth beneath the abbey for what he perceives as its blasphemous humor, Jorge uses a book with a poisoned page to kill several monks who had knowledge of the secret library, which prompts the Abbey to call for the Jesuit William of Baskerville to investigate the mysterious deaths. When William eventually discovers the library, Jorge tries to trick William into touching the poisoned book, and when this fails, eats the poisoned pages himself and sets fire to the library, ensuring Christendom's supremacy for centuries to come.
  • National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets: Mitch Wilkinson is a man seeking to bring glory to his family. Attending an exhibition about Ben Gates' ancestor Thomas, Mitch accuses Thomas of being in league with John Wilkes Booth to help the Confederacy find Cibola, the City of Gold, using a page presumably from Thomas' diary. Knowing that Ben would not rest until he found Cibola and cleared Thomas' name, Mitch attacks Ben's father Patrick, cloning his phone to keep tabs on Ben before pursuing Ben to London and back, acquiring clues along the way. Learning that Ben's mother is a professor who can translate the clues, Mitch kidnaps her and brings her to Mount Rushmore, forcing Ben and his allies to team up with him to locate Cibola. Evading a series of traps to reach Cibola, Mitch admits he faked the evidence and reveals his motive before sacrificing himself to allow Ben and his friends to escape when Cibola is flooded.
  • Night Watch (Series): The film version of Zavulon lacks his original counterpart's racism. Zavulon leads the Dark Others, a magical organization that's been in a cold war with its Light counterpart for centuries. When Zavulon learns that a couple of powerful Great Others have been born, he reveals to one of them that his Light-aligned father, the work's hero Anton Gorodetsky, tried to have him aborted, convincing him to join the Dark. After training the boy for a couple years, Zavulon has Anton framed for murder by promising a vampire he'd make his son human if he did the killing. After killing the son for attacking him when his manipulations are exposed, Zavulon reveals that this was all a plan to get the two Great Others to fight, as one spilling the other's blood would make the cold war hot again. The scheme goes off without a hitch, only being stopped when Anton uses a powerful item to rewrite time.
  • Non-Stop: Tom Bowen is a Marine set to prove the lack of safety in the American airline security after his father's death during the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attack. Taking over a plane with Zach White, he threatens to routinely murder passengers while keeping the heroes at bay and ensures the Transportation Security Administration Agency is informed of the threat presented. Ultimately planning to die when his bomb goes off, his convictions prove his intent truly is to ensure Americans increase security precautions for flights.
  • Now You See Me:
    • Dylan Rhodes is the Fifth Horseman and the mastermind behind the plot of the first film. Born Dylan Shrike, son of Lionel Shrike, he sought revenge on the companies and men who he blamed for the death of his father, chief among them the corrupt CEO Arthur Tressler and magician debunker Thaddeus Bradley. Becoming a member of the secret magician society, The Eye, Dylan guides the Four Horsemen into performing magic tricks to steal money from the companies and distribute them to the audience, eventually publicly humiliating Tressler for his role in denying relief to Hurricane Katrina victims, while inserting himself into, and sabotaging, the FBI efforts to catch the Horsemen. Fooling everyone with his bumbling detective act, Dylan frames Thaddeus for being the Fifth Horseman and leaves him to rot in jail. Having succeeded at his revenge, Dylan later launches an operation to expose a plot to steal everyone's personal information; when it turns out to be a trap and puts the team in peril, Dylan teams up with Thaddeus and ultimately foils Arthur's revenge plot, using one last grand magic trick to deceive Arthur and his son Walter into exposing themselves and evading the police once again.
    • The aforementioned Thaddeus Bradley is the Grandmaster of The Eye. A former magician and Lionel Shrike's rival/best friend, Thaddeus turned to exposing magic tricks by other magicians for money after Lionel's tragic death. Seeking to test the Four Horsemen to see if they are capable of joining The Eye, Thaddeus allies with law enforcement and engages the Horsemen in a chase, figuring out the truth behind each of their magic tricks and relentlessly pursuing them. When framed for Dylan's crimes, Thaddeus spends a year preparing to strike back against both Dylan and Arthur Tressler, creating a fake software that will supposedly hack everyone's personal information and leading the Horsemen into a trap by sending them to steal the software. Extorting Dylan into breaking him out of prison by promising to help find his friends, Thaddeus pretends to betray Dylan by leading him into a trap by Arthur and Walter while secretly giving him the means to escape the trap. Finally, he has his subordinates reveal to Dylan that the software is fake, then, with Dylan's help, lures Arthur and Walter into publicly exposing their misdeeds and makes up with Dylan, successfully evading the law this time.
  • A Perfect Murder: Steven Taylor schemes to murder his wife and get off completely scot-free as both revenge for her cheating on him, and to gain access to her trust fund worth millions. Upon discovering his wife Emily's infidelity, Steven blackmails and bribes her lover David into assisting him in killing her before creating multiple alibis for himself on the night his brilliant plan goes into motion. When David bungles the otherwise airtight plan by hiring a petty crook to kill Emily, Steven quickly and cleverly stays on top of the situation, manipulating both Emily and the police into suspecting it was a mere robbery gone wrong, and, even as David reveals he has proof of Steven's plans so as to blackmail him into paying David, Steven seemingly gives in only to murder David and get away with all of his money. Steven planned several contingencies on the chance his scheme went awry, rarely loses his cool, and even when Emily discovers the truth of his plans, it's solely because she got suspicious and guessed the combination to his safe where he had temporarily stored David's blackmail proof until he could destroy it.
  • The Perfection: Charlotte Willmore is a former rape victim of Anton of Bachoff Academy, who, realizing her new lover Lizzie suffers from his brainwashing, tricks her into severing her own hand, thus destroying her cello talent and forcing Lizzie to realize Anton cares nothing for her when he deserts her. Scheming to have Lizzie "capture" her for Anton, they deceive him and poison and kill his allies to corner him. As Anton can only sit crippled and mutilated, Charlotte and Lizzie triumphantly play the cello as one.
  • Phone Booth: The unnamed caller is a vigilante sniper who targets Asshole Victims, tormenting them to force them to become honest lest he kill them. Targeting Stuart "Stu" Shepard for cheating on his wife, the caller makes him play a series of psychological games to break him into becoming honest. Killing a pimp who tries to get Stu out of the phone booth, the caller is forcing him to stay inside and leaves a handgun atop its roof, leading to Stu being incriminated for the murder. Forcing Stu to confess to his wife when she arrives on the scene, the caller kills a Pizza Delivery guy to frame him for his crimes, leaving while promising Stu he will return if he goes back to his callous ways.
  • Predator: The Predator itself is a dangerous, cunning and honourable warrior. Hunting in Republic of Val Verde during a Guerrilla War, the Predator stalked and killed numerous insurgents and elite forces, including a band of Green Berets. Cautiously hunting Dutch's group, it picked them off one by one as they split up, careful not to let itself be outnumbered even with its superior technology. Avoiding their first trap, they eventually catch it in a net, which it escapes by firing its Plasmacaster rapidly. Feigning ignorance of Mac and Dillon's presence when they pursue it, the Predator turns the tables and kills them both. Finally confronting Dutch, whom had figured out how to exploit the Predator's thermal imaging tech, the creature is so impressed that, even when it had Dutch in its clutches, it lets him go and disarms itself to fight him unarmed. The hunter is finally beaten when it falls into a trap Dutch had set and only because Dutch made two traps. Noble and terrifying, the Predator hunts for sport, will not go after those it doesn't consider a threat and is an alien icon that spawned an entire franchise.
  • The Prestige: Robert Angier/Lord Caldlow is a genius magician who becomes consumed with revenge after the accidental death of his wife. Blaming fellow magician Alfred Borden for his wife's demise, Angier goes about sabotaging various aspects of Borden's career and life, culminating in an attempt to steal his secrets by burying his assistant alive. After discovering the cloning properties of Nikolai Tesla's machine, Angier uses it to put on perhaps the greatest magic trick the world has ever seen, staging each show so that one of his clones ends up in a drowning trap, knowing that at some point, Borden will stumble on the trap out of curiosity, which will enable Angier the perfect opportunity to frame him. Faking his own death and framing Borden for it, Angier leaves Borden to hang for his "crime", stopping by one final time before his death to reveal the full extent of Angier's manipulations, and even proclaiming he's taking Borden's daughter under his own wing.
  • Public Enemies: John Dillinger pulls off heist after heist on guarded banks while leading his gang, never losing his gentlemanly exterior and refusal to rob civilians that makes him a folk hero to many. Upon being arrested thanks to a fire at his hotel, Dillinger carves a wooden pistol and uses it to take the guards hostage, bluffing his way to freedom where he resumes his usual activities and remains one step ahead of the law the whole way through. Dillinger at one point even strolls into a police station wearing a disguise just to ask the cops the score to a baseball game out of sheer audacity, repeatedly showing that as one man against the federal government, he usually has the advantage.
  • Pulp Fiction: Jules Winnfield is one half of Those Two Bad Guys with his partner Vincent Vega, and easily the smarter compared to his slack-jawed partner. Jules is an audacious, foul-mouthed, Bible-quoting hitman who demonstrates his tendency to take control over any situation he's in by tormenting and blowing away a group of wannabe criminals who attempted to rip his boss Marsellus Wallace off. After a near-death encounter, Jules has a Heel Realization and tries to back out of the mob business for good, only to be held up by a robber couple in a restaurant. Utterly retaining his cool when faced with two guns in his face, Jules effortlessly flips the advantage back to himself by tricking and disarming one of the robbers, and uses his masterful control of the situation to give the two robbers a second chance, much in the same way Jules is finally affording an escape from the criminal underworld to himself.
  • The Punisher (2004): Frank Castle aka The Punisher is an ex-cop who, after his family is killed by the Saint family and their henchman Quentin Glass, embarks on a brutal quest to punish them. Castle kidnaps the Saint’s abused lackey Mickey Duka, pretends to torture him in order to get information on the Saints, and convinces him to help in his plan to take them down. Frank then dismantles the Saint's criminal operation by destroying two shipments of money belonging to their associates, causing the associates to cut off ties with the Saints. When the family's patriarch Howard sends assassins after him, Castle outmaneuvers and kills them. With Mickey's help Frank frames Glass for having an affair with Howard's wife Livia, causing Howard to murder them both. Frank then ambushes and dispatches the last of the Saints, showing Howard that the affair was fake in order to break his spirit before killing him. While stoic and distant, Frank shows his warmer side in his treatment of his neighbors whom he gives the Saint's money to before becoming a vigilante.
  • Ran: Lady Kaede is the true villain of the film. Desiring revenge against Hidetora and the Ichimonji clan for slaughtering her family years ago, Kaede convinces her husband, Hidetora's eldest son Taro, to usurp his father and war against his brother Jiro. Upon Taro's death, she effortlessly seduces Jiro, convinces him to kill his wife and then manipulates him into disastrous strategies that bring the Ichimonji to ruin. When Jiro's general Kurogane confronts her when the battle is lost, Kaede calmly admits to everything, showing absolutely no fear of dying with her ultimate goals achieved.
  • Road to Perdition: Michael Sullivan is a hitman in service of John Rooney. One of the most feared in the business who maintains a love for his family, Sullivan is betrayed by his boss's son Connor who sets him up for death and murders his wife Annie and son Peter. Alongside his surviving child Michael Jr., Sullivan goes on the run and seeks to erode the Rooney relationship with the Capones by targeting mob banks and stealing their money. Staying ahead of the Capones and Rooney killers alike, Sullivan eventually targets John Rooney directly, knowing his death will revoke Connor's protection permanently.
  • The Rock: Brigadier General Francis X. "Frank" Hummel, disgusted with the lack of respect for his dead servicemen, tries to force the American government to pay the families of the fallen reparations by stealing deadly VX gas to threaten a terrorist attack on San Francisco should they fail to meet his terms. Predicting the Pentagon's every move, Hummel sets up a stronghold in Alcatraz and manages to easily trap and dispatch the US Navy SEAL team sent after him. Finding himself unable to use his gas-carrying missiles on civilians, even in defeat Hummel makes preparations to get his men to safety while ready to face the consequences alone.
  • The Rocketeer: Neville Sinclair masquerades as a Hollywood star while secretly harboring a scheme to steal a rocket pack to help the Nazi government Take Over the World. Hiring a squad of gangsters to assist him, Sinclair also pursues charming Jenny Blake, girlfriend of Cliff Secord aka the Rocketeer and moves quickly to follow leads, allowing Sinclair to capture Jenny and force Cliff into meeting him to trade the rocket for her. When his American cohorts turn on him for his exposed affiliations, Sinclair uses a battalion of German soldiers and nearly escape via zeppelin, only stopped by Cliff's quick thinking.
  • Rush Hour: The second film's Ricky Tan is a leader within the Chinese Triads and a former partner to Lee's murdered father, who found out Tan was a Dirty Cop before he was murdered by an unknown party. Tan tells Lee he is losing a civil war within the Triads and asks him for protection and help, but is killed before Lee's eyes. Tan then turns up alive and well in America; he faked his death in order to go into hiding, flee Hong Kong authorities, and become the secret backer of an international smuggling operation. Through his accomplices Steven Reign and Hu Li, Tan has counterfeited $100 million US in extremely convincing fake bills, and will launder them through a Las Vegas casino, proudly proclaiming it is a business "where people hand [him] money, and [he] gives them back absolutely nothing." In every interaction with Lee, Tan presents himself as an Affably Evil mobster, one minute claiming he tried to "help" Lee's father give him a better life, and the next coldly telling Lee how weak and pathetic he was before Tan shot him.
  • Le Samouraï: The well-dressed, soft-spoken Jef Costello is a hitman of few words who always leaves an alibi for his hits, letting another lover of his girlfriend identify him while the man thinks he is getting him for the murder of a nightclub owner when in truth he is giving Jef an airtight alibi. Upon being betrayed by his superiors, Jef eliminates them until the only loose end s a kindly nightclub singer who once helped him. Jef confronts her, seemingly getting sloppy which allows the police to follow him, shooting when he brandishes his gun. It is then revealed there are no bullets in the gun, Jef choosing his own end to remain true to his code.
  • Saw: John Kramer aka the Jigsaw Killer was a law-abiding civil engineer before losing his unborn son, becoming estranged from his wife, and being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in quick succession. Jigsaw uses his skills and intellect to become a prolific Serial Killer, designing elaborate death traps and picking his victims on the basis of their perceived lack of gratitude for the blessing of life. Fostering multiple protegés, only some of whom are even aware of each other, Jigsaw blackmails a hospital orderly to impersonate him to allay suspicion, manages to escape from police custody by manipulating the lead detective responsible for capturing him, uses his more devoted followers as back-up insurance against those who do not follow his teachings properly, and is responsible for schemes planned so far in advance that he continues to effect events even a decade after his death.
  • The Scarlet Empress: Catherine the Great herself, born Princess Sophia, is married to the cruel, idiot, deformed Peter of Russia. Eventually building her own power base, Catherine begins to sway the guards to her side and seduces one to bear a child to solidify her claim on the throne without needing to bother with Peter, knowing Peter's aunt is so desperate for a male heir and fear of embarrassment will handle paternity questions. Upon Elizabeth's death, Catherine launches a coup against Peter before he can kill her first, having him murdered to become the undisputed Empress of all Russia.
  • Serenity: The Operative is an intelligent, honorable, and particularly efficient agent of the Alliance, and perhaps the greatest threat the Serenity has ever faced. Dispatched to deal with the exceptionally dangerous River Tam. He begins tracking her via initiating a subliminial Trigger Phrase and tracking Captain Mal Reynolds and his ship. Luring Mal into a trap, The Operative outwits him via wearing body armor, only to barely lose him. Hoping to lure out the Serenity, he orders attacks on any ports that once harbored Mal's ship and crew. He then lures Mal into a trap via their ally Mr. Universe, and confronts him on the planet Miranda, calling off his army when his defeat is assured and parting on civil terms. Returning in Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, the Operative joins in an Enemy Mine with Mal to free River's fellow test subjects. When accosted by Zoe, who desires to kill him, he states that he believes she is in the right to, before stating he will defend himself.
  • Shot Caller: Jacob "Money" Harlon was a succesful stockbroker with a wife and son who was sent to a maximum security prison after getting his best friend killed in a drunk driving accident. Joining the Aryan Brotherhood to survive, Jacob spends years ascending the ranks of the organization, graduating from a low-level drug mule to a hitman, and finally one of the gang's officers. Once released from prison, on the orders of Jerry "The Beast" Manning under threat of harming his family, Jacob oversees a major weapons deal with the Sonora Cartel, staying several steps ahead of the authorities attempting to track him down and exposing, then killing, a police informant. Jacob sabotages the deal on his own accord, intending to go back to prison to confront the Beast and kill and replace him. Despite being a member of a skinhead prison gang, Jacob never displays any racist tendencies of his own, and ultimately sacrifices his entire future to protect his family.
  • Sicario:
    • Matt Graver is a mysterious, laid-back CIA "spook" who deals in combatting terrorism and the Mexican cartels through any means necessary. As seen in the first film, Graver brings FBI Agent Kate Macer into his squad, claiming to need her expertise but truthfully just using her as a liason to allow himself to operate on American soil, later having her life threatened to get her to sign the proper papers saying that everything he did was on the up-and-up. Graver works with Alejandro Gillick in tearing apart the Alarcón cartel, claiming that it is for moral reason when in reality, Graver just wants Alarcon eliminated so his competition can take over and perhaps be easier to talk peace with. In the sequel, Graver concocts a brilliant scheme to kickstart a war between two cartels, failing only due to corrupt police, and, going up against his superiors and calling them out for their cowardice, Graver ends up massacring an entire cartel gang to rescue the endangered Isabel Reyes to honor the seemingly-dead Alejandro. Despite his initial friendly, seemingly care-free attitude, Graver is a stone cold bastard who engages in both physical and psychological torture, murder, and illegal operations abounding to secure his goals, accomplishing nearly all through a combination of manipulation and strategic genius.
    • The aforementioned Alejandro Gillick is a Sicario defined by tragedy and hatred, using his skills and connections to Graver to satiate his cold-blooded desire for revenge. Once a criminal lawyer, Alejandro's family was slaughtered by Fausto Alarcón, resulting in Alejandro becoming a gun-for-hire to seek vengeance, exhibiting remarkable skills in torture and murder that help his and Graver's schemes come to fruition. Hunting down Alarcón and killing his entire security force through pragmatic tricks and stealth, Alejandro calls out Alarcón for spending his nights eating dinner with his family, even while other families are killed on the drug lord's orders. Alejandro executes Alarcón's entire family in front of him before killing the man himself to seal his revenge. Capable of forming attachments to others despite his villainy, Alejandro considers Graver a friend of sorts, and grows to care for Kate Macer in the first film and Isabel Reyes in the second, at first showing a willingness to kill either one but ultimately sparing them, even putting his life on the line to rescue Isabel from death—getting himself shot in the face in the process, an event which doesn't even hinder Alejandro from killing a cartel group who threatens him.
  • Side Effects: Dr. Jonathan Banks would grow to become ruthless and calculating during his pursuit of revenge against Emily Taylor and Dr. Victoria Siebert after they ruined his life. To confirm that Emily was indeed faking psychiatric disorders when she killed her husband, Banks tricks Emily into injecting herself with salt water on the pretense that it is a truth serum that would make her drowsy. Banks suspicions are confirmed when Emily feigns drowsiness and he then threatens her with electric shock treatment. Emily would confess that she plotted with Siebert to kill her husband while under Ablixa and use the drug's negative publicity to manipulate stock prices, where Banks then has Emily turn on Siebert before recommitting Emily to the psychiatric ward, while also regaining both his family and reputation.
  • Snatch.: Mickey O'Neil is an Irish Traveller introduced scamming Tommy and knocking out his muscle. When Tommy and Turkish ask him to be a replacement boxer for "Brick Top" Pulford's fight, he agrees to their stipulation that he go down in the fourth round, only to ignore this and knock out his opponent with one punch. When Brick Top demands he fight again and this time go down in the fourth round, Mickey refuses, which leads to Brick Top burning his mother alive. Mickey decides to fight and waits until the fourth round of the new fight to knock out his opponent. However, he only waited that long to let his allies get into position to massacre Brick Top's organization, showing that if someone metaphorically or literally knocks Mickey down, he will get back up and knock them right out.
  • Street Fighter: The charismatic, witty M. Bison clawed his way from a mere drug dealer and killer to rule Shadaloo via brilliance and skill. Attempting to conquer the world, Bison demands ransoms for hostages as a front for his real scheme of turning captives into new Super Soldiers, to wipe away all distinctions between mankind so the world may know peace under his fist. Bison intends to force nations to submit to him economically and utilize his own currency in place of theirs, while putting in a multitude of contingencies against the heroes when they come to stop him. With a respect towards Colonel Guile, his nemesis, Bison also enters into battle with a set number of advantages to empower himself, even as he savors the chance to engage and kill Guile in direct combat. Rarely taking anything personally, Bison brings a unique charm to his dark vision, convinced his rule is best for all humanity.
  • Street Kings: Captain James Biggs is the scheming head of Internal Affairs in the Los Angeles Police Department who feels slighted by Captain Wander, his former partner, being promoted ahead of him. At the behest of the upper echelons of the police force, who worry that Wander has become too powerful, Biggs provides Agent Ludlow with clues about the corruption within his unit, calculating that he will do whatever it takes to dismantle it. At the end, with Ludlow as the Sole Survivor and many people having gotten caught in the crossfire, Biggs reveals the truth to Ludlow while admitting that he and the men he works for have some use for his ruthless Cowboy Cop tactics.
  • Sukiyaki Western Django: The Gunman is a roaming gunslinger looking for gold. Arriving into an unnamed town run by the rival Heikie and Genji clans, the Gunman chooses to instead side with retired assassin Ruriko and play both sides against each other. Tricking the Heikes into leaving town to attack the Genjis in order to save the poor Shizuka, he collaborates with Rukiro on her plan to summon the Heikes and the Genjis together with a chest containing gold in order to take them both out. Caught in a duel with Genji leader Yoshitsune, once the Gunman appears to be caught in a tight spot, he whips out a hidden derringer from his sleeve and kills him. Riding out of town with only a handful of the gold, he leaves it all to the young, mute Heihachi, leaving him with life advice so moving, the boy begins to talk again.
  • Superfly: Youngblood Priest is a respected drug kingpin looking for a way out of the game to lead a sensible life. Starting off talking down a gangster and his bodyguards without a single threat of violence, Priest's desire to leave the life of a drug criminal leads an out-of-control spiral of cons and betrayal. However, Priest, using his penchant for smooth-talking and analysis, manages to conduct a Batman Gambit that sees him eliminate Gonzales of a cartel, seamlessly plant his right-hand Eddie into the Snow Patrol, get the corrupt Detective Mason arrested she did his dirty work in gunning down the Snow Patrol, and leave the comfortably leave the country with his lover on a cruise all without scuffing his fabulous perm.
  • Swordfish: The black ops operative who goes by Gabriel Shear is an agent who puts on the air of a charismatic, charming playboy who lives the high life, but under it is a man dedicated to preserving the supremacy and security of America by utterly destroying terrorists and dealing so much damage that nobody will dream of harboring terrorists again. Manipulating the hacker and hero Stanley, Gabriel sets up a complex heist to steal billions to fund his operation, murdering the Senator behind the program when the man betrays and tries to kill Gabriel. Gabriel sets up a robbery with hostages, murdering Stanley's ex-wife and kidnapping his daughter to force him to cooperate. Boasting of the need for misdirection, Gabriel fakes his partner Ginger's death, then fakes his own and escapes completely free to wage his own one man war against terrorism with no care for whoever gets in his way.
  • Sympathy for Lady Vengeance: Lee Geum-ja once took the fall for murder for her older lover Mr. Baek, who threatened to murder her daughter if she refused. Geum-ja spends over a decade in prison, cultivating a reputation as a kind-hearted saint who does favors for everyone, even giving a kidney for a woman who needs an operation. Geum-ja also poisons the rapist prison bully, and upon being released sets about getting revenge on Baek. Calling on all her favors and finding her daughter, she manipulates Baek to his capture and discovers he is a serial child killer. To deal with him, she allows the parents of his victims to torture him to death, and insure equal complicity so that none of them will talk without implication themselves.
  • Takers: Delonte "Ghost" Rivers is a former member of Gordon Cozier's gang of bank robbers recently released from prison. After leaving prison, Ghost meets with Sergei and his gang of Russians so they can discuss how they'll rob an armored truck. He later meets with Cozier's gang, informing them of the same robbery and manipulating them into robbing the armored truck before the Russians do. After the robbery, Ghost gives up the location of the hotel room Cozier's gang is staying in to Sergei before abandoning them, resulting in a shootout that wipes out Sergei and his crew, along with AJ. He later kills his former love interest and leaves her body for her fiancé, Jake Attica, to find, while the Attica brothers are slain by the police moments later. Believing Cozier's crew is dead, Ghost kills Cozier's money launderer and tries to steal all of the money from Cozier's gang's previous heists.
  • Terminal: Annie and Bonnie Merriweather seek vengeance against their father Clinton Sharp—now masquerading as the gangster Mr. Franklyn/"the janitor"—for the death of their mother, punishing a schoolteacher who abused them along the way. Through a series of manipulations and seductions, the women work their way into their father's organization and turn two of his assassins against each other, resulting in one killing the other for Bonnie to murder the remaining one herself. Using the janitor to dispose of the corpses of their enemies, the girls eventually confront their father and lobotomize him for his crimes, completing their revenge.
  • The Taking of Pelham One Two Three: Bernard Ryder, an out-of-work mercenary looking for a big score to retire on, takes the alias "Mr. Blue" and recruits three other men to assist in his takeover of the titular subway train, holding the passengers hostage in exchange for one million dollars, threatening to begin executing them if his demands are not met. Having his subordinate Mr. Green disable the train's Dead Man's Switch to prepare for their escape, Blue also shows his gratitude to his companions by staying behind to fight the cops after Mr. Brown is shot and killed in a firefight, allowing Mr. Green to escape with the money. Choosing to kill himself to go out on his own terms when caught, Blue's respect for Green and Brown and eventual killing of the psychotic Mr. Grey cement him as a brilliant and honorable criminal.
  • Target (2018): Raditya Dika's friend, Hifdzi Khoir, is the mastermind behind the suffering of Dika and his other friends. Kidnapping the wife of a master hypnotist, he forces the hypnotist into playing as the patsy of his schemes. Seemingly a Butt-Monkey for much of the film, he pretends to suffer injuries to force his friends into being contestants in the decoy mastermind's game. Saving the survivors from the decoy mastermind, he reveals himself to be the one pulling the strings, making off safely after playing his friends. Though Hifdzi showed he was a callous manipulator, his whole scheme was done to honor his late father and show his disgust for what he sees as deceit in modern movies studios fabricating their stories.
  • Thank You for Smoking: Nick Naylor is a slick Washington D.C. lobbyist speaking on behalf of the tobacco industry. As part of his job, Naylor frequently makes televised appearances to discredit anti-smoking activists—even managing to convince the Littlest Cancer Patient to come around to his point of view—by confusing them with a Chewbacca Defense, bribes a disgruntled ex-tobacco mascot from speaking out against big tobacco, and schemes with Hollywood executives to introduce new Product Placement of cigarettes in film. Nick gets into a fling with a reporter who releases a stinging exposée on Naylor and his associates in the "Merchants of Death" group that results in Nick being let go by his boss, but Nick manages to turn the situation to his advantage by discrediting the reporter with veiled comments about her tactics to the press, and facing down Senator Finistirre in a subcommittee hearing by advocating for the right to choose over moral policing while simultaneously exposing the Senator's hypocrisies. Nick manages to avoid the fall-out of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, becoming a spokesman for new industries peddling potentially dangerous products.
  • Theatre of Blood: Edward Lionheart, driven to near suicide by a group of callous theatre critics, attempts a gruesome revenge. Surfacing years later, Lionheart begins dispatching his enemies in ways inspired by the plays of Shakespeare, while manipulating the others to proceed exactly how he wants them for best access and give himself more fame in the process of his vengeance. Lionheart manipulates one into murder to send him to prison, using a group of derelicts to murder another and constantly runs rings around law enforcement and his enemies, all while remaining as charismatic and larger than life as ever.
  • There Goes the Neighborhood (1992): Norman "Norm" Rutledge is a seemingly mundane businessman who is in actuality a survivalist and possible spy with connections to multiple countries. When he and his wife Peedi are abducted by crooks searching for mob money they think is buried in their house's foundation, Norm gives offhand advice about how better to keep themselves from being caught while still playing hostage. Eventually, Norm reveals who he really is to them and is able to sway the brutish and manic Marvin Boyd to his side and take control of the situation, while also plotting to take the crooks out after too. Norm then instructs the crooks to shoot at Willis Embry and Jessie Lodge to get to where the money actually is. He also instructs keeping Peedi hostage, shooting anyone else who might get in their way with his contraband guns and using grenades to blow a tunnel to try to get to the house next door.
  • The Third Man: Harry Lime is a racketeer selling black market penicillin in post-war Vienna, completely untroubled by pangs of conscience. Calling his friend Holly Martins to Vienna, Harry fakes his own death to throw suspicion off himself, manipulating his old girlfriend Anna, as well as Holly and the police while he remains off the radar. Constantly staying a step ahead of everyone, Harry continuously attempts to put himself back in the good graces of those he's abandoned, which keeps working thanks to his charm and pleasant demeanor. Never at a loss for a smile, Harry won't hesitate to play a situation to his benefit, no matter what.
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1999): Thomas Crown is a debonair billionaire and art connoisseur who dabbles in high-profile thefts out of boredom. Crown stages an ingenious theft of a Monet painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art by enlisting a group of criminals through a middle man to infiltrate the museum dressed as guards, then initiate a fight between the criminals and the guards to divert attention from his real objective. Crown also arranged for the camera footage to be rendered useless by planting a humidifier in the room, and a titanium-reenforced briefcase to absorb the weight from the security gate, allowing him to walk out of the building with his prize through the front door. When insurance investigator Catherine Banning and the NYPD get on his trail, he tauntingly eludes their efforts to retrieve the painting on several occasions. After Crown falls in love with Catherine, he arranges to run away with her, but not before returning the painting to the museum and eluding dozens of cops waiting for him with a Ringer Ploy, while at the same time stealing another priceless painting as a gift to Catherine.
  • Touch of Evil: The intense, ruthless police captain Hank Quinlan once lost his beloved wife to violent crime and is dedicated to bringing down criminals whenever he finds them. Quinlan resorts to framing those he believes to be guilty, setting them up to be convicted. When he locks on to a potential bomber, Quinlan runs afoul of the Mexican investigator Vargas who suspects Quinlan of framing others, prompting Quinlan to attempt to ruin him by trying to frame his fiancee for the murder of a criminal named Grandin who Quinlan personally outwits and murders. Even at the end, Quinlan sees through a potential trap and is only stopped with the betrayal of his former best friend Menzies, who Quinlan once took a bullet for. When confronted and asked dhow many he has framed, Quinlan's only is to declare "nobody who wasn't guilty".
  • The Tourist: Alexander Pearce is a renowned thief who stole from both criminals and authorities alike. When undercover Interpol agent Elise was sent to spy on him, his charms manages to get Elise to fall in love with him and the two consummate a romantic relationship. After stealing 2.3 billion dollars from British crime lord Reginald Shaw, Alexander splits from Elise, sending her letters on where to find him, while also instructing her to find someone similar to Alexander's height and build to deviate Shaw's men and the Interpol pool away from him. After getting Shaw and his men killed while hiring a tourist to distract Interpol, Alexander Pearce reveals himself to Elise before escaping with her, also returning the money he stole from the authorities.
  • Tower Heist: Josh Kovaks, manager of the luxury apartment complex "The Tower", learns of Arthur Shaw's plan to swindle all the building's workers out of their pensions. Vandalizing Shaw's prized Ferrari in retaliation, Josh gets fired and begins plotting a heist to take back what was stolen from the other workers. Forming a team, Josh tricks the FBI who arrested Shaw into thinking Shaw's trial would take place on Thanksgiving, allowing the crew to break into the Tower. Diverting the attention of the new manager by having him think his wife is going into labour, Josh and his crew find the safe they meant to plunder empty but that Shaw's Ferrari is made of solid gold. Taking precautions to protect himself in case he is arrested, Josh has the Ferrari hidden in his cohort's apartment, before later hiding it in the penthouse pool. Using Shaw's ledger as leverage in the trial, Josh secures the freedom of all his fellow workers, himself only spending two years in jail, and having his employees divide the parts of the gold Ferrari amongst themselves.
  • Trilogy of Terror: Julie Eldridge is a sadist who enjoys leading men to their dooms for fun. To sate her urges, she pretends to be a mild-nannered English teacher, dropping subtle hints to make sexual predators think she's the perfect target. She then plays the scared victim, letting the guys think they're in control for a few weeks at most. Once Julie gets bored, she drops the act and explains her manipulations before killing her mark and moving onto the next target.
  • Triple Frontier: Santiago "Pope" Gomez is a private military contractor who formulates a plan to rob drug lord Gabriel Martin Lorea after learning how much money he makes from the drug business. With the help of his informant, Yovanna, and his friends from the Delta Force, Pope was successful in finding and killing Lorea in Colombia and burn down his house after stealing 250 million of Lorea's money found inside the walls. Pope would also give a few million to Yovanna for her help and to a village leader as compensation for killing some of his villagers and discard most of it weighing him and his team down. Guilt-ridden when team member Tom "Redfly" Davis gets killed, he and his team decide to give the remainder of their money to Redfly's family, before Pope was given the coordinates of where they left the rest of the money, allowing Pope the opportunity to retrieve it.
  • Triple Threat: Jaka pursues Collins and his band of mercenaries in order to avenge his village and wife. Recognizing Payu and Long Fei at an illegal fighting ring, Jaka fights the latter in the ring. After Payu recognizes Jaka from the village, and explains that he and Long Fei are against Collins and his crew as well, the crew having led them to believe they were on a humanitarian mission, Jaka gets the duo drunk, then reports them to the police in order to lure the other mercenaries out, knowing full well that they would come for the duo. Helping Payu neutralize one mercenary, and taking the other out himself in the confrontation, Jaka later talks his way into Collins' crew, offering to help eliminate Payu and Long Fei. When Jaka encounters Payu, Long Fei, and the heiress Tian Xiao Xian, he allows them to escape. In the final confrontation, Jaka helps Payu and Long Fei eliminate Collins' men, before calling the Chinese Embassy in order to let them know Tian is safe.
  • Unbreakable: Elijah Price, aka "Mr. Glass", was born with a genetic disease that causes his bones to be exceptionally brittle. Seeking to become a supervillain to lure out a heroic counterpart, Elijah orchestrates a series of massive disasters until one leaves a Sole Survivor in David Dunn. Revealing himself to David after David "accepts" his destiny as a superhero, Elijah reveals himself to be the mastermind behind hundreds of deaths while he himself managed to stay undetected. Nearly two decades later, Elijah convinces the Horde/Kevin Wendell Crumb to escape an asylum they are being held in and the duo trick their way out of it. With a complex plot to reveal "specials" to the world, Elijah uses a planned attack on a skyscraper as a distraction, then has David and the Horde fight, them all dying because of Elijah's plot but ensuring that the entire event is uploaded online.
  • Underworld: Lucian, the first Lycan to ever be able to retain human form and intellect, fell in love with Sonja, daughter of the vampire overlord Viktor. After her execution by her own father along with their unborn child, Lucian rallies the Lycans to victory and devastates the vampire covens. Knowing he cannot defeat the vampires himself, Lucian fakes his own death by using the vampire Kraven as a cover, going underground to rebuild the Lycans while kidnapping descendants of the first immortal Corvinus to experiment on while aiming to make himself a powerful hybrid between vampire and werewolf. Coordinating the elimination of the vampire elder Amelia, Lucian finally obtains a perfect specimen in Michael Corvin, and even when mortally wounded leaves The Heroine Selene the way to turn Michael into a hybrid, gloating even to the treacherous Kraven that his will is done regardless of his fate.
  • Universal Soldier: The Return: S.E.T.H. (Self-Evolving Thought Helix) is an artificial intelligence built to oversee the new generation of Unisols, Super Soldiers made from the bodies of dead U.S. soldiers. While initially benign, as soon as S.E.T.H. determines that he is to be disassembled following the project's shutdown, he has the Unisols' cranial implants surgically altered so they will obey only him and turn on their human controllers, before rewriting his program to make himself independent. S.E.T.H. manipulates a former technician involved with his construction, Squid, into building a Super-Unisol body for him so he can escape into the real world before killing him. In order to deactivate a kill switch command in his program, which he later manages to decipher on his own, S.E.T.H. has his soldier Romeo pursue Luc Deveraux and personally kidnaps his daughter Hillary, deciding to turn her into a Unisol as he thinks it will be for her own good. S.E.T.H. boasted of his plans to replace all humanity with Unisols, stating that where once he was a machine who yearned to be a man, he became far more than either.
  • Upgrade: In its scheme to evolve and become a human, STEM orchestrates the entirety of the plot. Having Grey Trace paralyzed after ordering the murder of his wife, STEM manipulates the man into allowing himself to be implanted with STEM, granting his mobility back, but allowing STEM partial control of his body. Playing the role of partner and helper to Grey, STEM assists him in finding the men who murdered his wife, STEM ensuring each man is executed so as to tie up loose ends, and even tricks Grey into destroying the sole part of STEM preventing it from total autonomy and control over Grey's body. STEM ultimately murders everyone who knows of its existence, plunging Grey's mind into a never-ending dream and taking control of his body to use for its own purposes. STEM is cold, eerily polite, and murderous in its endeavors, showing a natural talent for manipulation and strategy, yet also the capacity and willingness to step back and allow others to overcome the few problems STEM itself admits it cannot.
  • Us: Red, leader of the Tethered, manages to organized the stunted clones into a genuine army with a plot to make the world see how horribly they have been treated. Putting her scheme into motion for "The Untethering", she sends the clones to kill their doubles and form a massive chain, effortlessly cornering her own double, Adelaide Wilson, with their families facing off. Red is able to use even the death of her own to her advantage to kidnap Adelaide's son Jason and lure Adelaide into a personal confrontation, revealing Red is the true Adelaide who was replaced by her double as a child. Seeking revenge, Red even manages to potentially poison Jason against his mother, with her scheme at upending society and forming a great chain possibly succeeding.
  • The Usual Suspects: Keyser Söze is a mysterious Diabolical Mastermind who lives a double life as the disabled Roger "Verbal" Kint. Söze organized a hit on a drug gang to kill one of their prisoners before killing his accomplices and setting fire to the scene. Arrested by the police, Söze, as Kint, successfully spun lies to the investigators to pin everything on accomplice Dean Keaton. Once he got his bail, Söze practically waltzed out the police station and vanished before the investigators could realize the truth. For years, Söze has kept his own existence under wraps, and those who know of his existence know nothing else about him.
  • War: Tom Lone is an FBI agent hell-bent on dismantling the Triad and Yakuza gangs. After his family is murdered by an assassin named Rogue, Tom killed the assassin and took his identity in order to find the people responsible. As Rogue, Tom repeatedly worked for the Triads and the Yakuza, killing various gang members while manipulating the gang leaders into getting involved in a war. After Tom destroys the Triads, he goes after Shiro Yanagawa, the leader of the Yakuza clan and the man who sent Rogue to kill his family. Once Tom kills Shiro and discovers his former partner, John Crawford, was also involved in his family's murder, Tom confronts Crawford and kills him too, thus succeeding in his quest to destroy both gangs and avenge his family.
  • Wall Street: Gordon Gekko is a renowned Wall Street businessman and corporate raider. Gekko frequently manipulates the stock market through rumors spread by his acolytes, on one occasion outmaneuvering one of his rivals simply to repay him for undermining one of Gekko's earlier ventures. Fostering a mentor-protege relationship with the eager stockbroker Bud Fox, Gekko instructs Fox to acquire insider information and conspire with contacts in the legal department to maximize his profits. A charismatic public speaker as well, Gekko manages to convince the shareholders of Teldar Paper to vote against the stock's restructuring by berating the company's unacceptable inefficiency in a cut-throat business, couched in terms praising The American Dream. Despite being set up by Bud Fox to lose millions after Gekko goes back on his word by planning to break up Bluestar Airlines, Gekko only ends up going to jail due to testimony from his employee Bretton James on Gekko's involvement with securities fraud. After his release years later, Gekko reinvents himself as a best-selling author before mentoring the young Wall Street insider Jake Moore, the fiance of Gekko's daughter Winnie. Gekko uses Jake to undermine Bretton James, now the COO of a major bank, ultimately leading to the latter's public disgrace and dismissal by the board of directors of Churchil Schwartz. Finally, Gekko plays Jake for a fool by promising to invest in his renewable energy project but instead confiscates the hundred million dollar trust fund set up in Winnie's name to re-establish himself as a venture capitalist based in London, then buys back his family's love so he can be a part of their life. Charming, devious, and manipulative, Gekko defined the Corrupt Corporate Executive in film.
  • Way of the Dragon: The seemingly kind Uncle Wang is in truth working with the mafia in an attempt to sell his and Chen's restaurant to them for the sake of living a rich life with his family. Throughout the film, Wang subtly discourages Tang Lung and the restaurant staff from attacking the mafia by saying it would just lead to the mafia being more persistent. Knowing how much of a threat Tang Lung is to the mafia, Wang later convinces his niece, Chen, to try and get Tang to leave Italy. After he, Tang, and multiple workers at the restaurant are ambushed my martial arts masters hired by the mafia, Wang convinces Tang Lung to go on ahead before stabbing the surviving staff members in the back. When Tang Lung is about to return, Wang wounds himself to convince Tang that he and the staff were attacked after Tang left. He then takes the opportunity to try and stab Tang Lung to death while he's focusing on Ho, only failing due to the untimely arrival of the mafia boss alerting Tang.
  • The Wicker Man (1973): Lord Summerisle, the ruler of the island, was in charge of the island's crop production. Upon last year's harvest proving to be unfruitful, Summerisle arranges for the 12 year old Rowan Morrison to go missing until an anonymous letter is sent to the mainland's authorities. When police sergeant Neil Howie arrives to the island to investigate the disappearance, Summerisle appoints his subjects with misdirecting Howie in preparation for their island's May Day festival where Howie is sacrificed in the eponymous Wicker Man under the islanders' impression that doing so would enrich their harvest. Charismatic and respectful of Howie's Christian beliefs despite their conflicting views, Summerisle stands as one of Christopher Lee's finest performances.
  • Wild Things series:
    • Original film: Suzie Toller is a teenage girl from the wrong side of the tracks, masking her genius-level intellect by appearing as white trash. After one of her best friends was murdered by corrupt cop Ray Duquette, who then busted her on a bogus charge, Suzie vowed revenge. She hatches a plot wherein Suzie, her guidance counselor Sam Lombardo and Kelly Van Ryan, the rich girl Sam was sleeping with, are able to con Kelly's mother Sandra Van Ryan out of millions of dollars by having both girls falsely accuse Sam of rape, then cracking on the stand and opening the Van Ryans to a countersuit. Suzie also ordered Sam to draw Ray Duquette into the scheme by convincing him that he and Sam would get rid of both girls and split the money between the two of them instead of three-ways. After multiple betrayals and counter-betrayals and even faking her own death, at the end Suzie is the only conspirator left standing: a high-school drop-out responsible for several murders with a fortune safely stored away in an overseas account.
    • Wild Things 2: Brittney Havers, supposedly a vapid Alpha Bitch at a South Florida high school, hatches a year-long scheme to fake her mother's suicide, then convincing her rich, abusive stepfather Niles Dunlap to fake his own death in a plane crash to avoid his gambling debts owed to various criminals. Brittney and her friend Maya King then use the body of Maya's dead father so they can establish Maya as a supposed blood heir of Niles after bribing local coroner Julian Haynes, thus awarding her Niles' entire estate. When insurance investigator Terence Bridge catches wind of their scheme, they kill Julian and feed his body to alligators before Terence attempts to simply blackmail them. Brittney fatally shoots Maya in response and frames Terence for the murder, leaving the country to meet up with her stepfather just so she can kill him as well by throwing him out of a plane, and reuniting with her mother so they can enjoy their riches together.
  • Working Girl: Katharine Parker is a Boston broker who transfers to New York and becomes the latest boss of chronic secretary Tess McGill. She assigns Tess with some menial tasks and at first expresses interest in Tess's idea for a merger between a business and a radio company, but then tells her it is not going to work while secretly planning to pass off the idea as her own. When Katharine catches wind of Tess having stolen the idea back, she exposes Tess's deception and nearly takes over her role in the planned merger as a result. Even when her boyfriend Jack Trainer falls for Tess and turns against her, Katharine keeps her cool and even maintains a graceful demeanor to avoid making a scene when about to ultimately lose her job.
  • X-Men Film Series: Magneto, real name Erik Lehnsherr, is a Holocaust survivor who believes mutants will suffer the same injustices unless they strike first to establish mutant superiority. Using his charisma and promises of freedom and acceptance to rally like-minded mutants to his side, Magneto forms the Brotherhood of Mutants with the goal of seeking mutant dominance over the world through any means necessary, even if he must cause the mass death or forced mutation of multiple humans. Yet he is calm, affable, and soft-spoken, regarding Charles Xavier as an old friend despite their ideological differences, and willing to work with the X-men against threats to all mutantkind when they arise. Between his careful plotting, his powerful mutant abilities, and his willingness to go as far as he must to ensure mutantkind's safety from humans, Magneto repeatedly demonstrates himself the most complex and competent foe Xavier and the X-men would ever face.

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